Lucas Cain, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, believes that education is a key element of the solution to a wide range of societal challenges. He aims to provide opportunity and positive mentorship to those in his community and beyond. He works towards this end personally as a teacher in multiple capacities. He works to decrease disparities in access to music education as the Teacher Relations chair in a large non-profit called Musical Empowerment based in Carrboro, North Carolina. He has also turned his skills and experience gained in Economics and Political Science majors towards addressing some of the root causes of these disparities through policy research.
Teaching has been a core part of my life. From the age of 13, I assisted in teaching summer camps, and in college I have worked as a TA, a tutor, a private piano teacher, and as an education intern at the Greensboro Science Center. I began as a teacher at Musical Empowerment in my first semester at UNC, and I continue to teach weekly lessons. In Fall 2020, I became the Teacher Relations chairperson and now lead a team responsible for the recruitment, interviewing, training, support, and continued education of over 150 music teachers. In the past semester, our roster of teachers has increased, as has attendance at our Guest Speaker Series, and Teacher Support Groups – all despite the challenges of virtual learning. Leading teaching policy has allowed me to turn a skill into a social good. Recently I have turned my own education and research skills into working toward a social good, as well. My most recent project involves consulting my home county’s public school system on improving their student-school matching algorithms. With my faculty advisor, I employ principles of economics and market design to create more efficient and fairer outcomes for students in my home community.