Maura Schmidt

Associate, Development and Board Relations

Understanding education data is the first step to creating a more equitable education system with solutions that empower all students.

Maura supports DQC’s fundraising and Board of Director engagement strategies. Her work includes thoughtful research, logistical management, handling key aspects of the grant management process and providing day-to-day funder outreach and communication. Maura also works to implement the Board of Directors outreach and engagement strategies, as well as supporting DQC’s leadership team in cultivating relationships with stakeholders to promote successful collaboration and partnerships.

Before joining DQC, Maura held several positions in the field of social work providing support to individuals with disabilities. Most recently, she served as the Autism Services Program Coordinator at a local non-profit, where she managed several grant programs and led a team of employment specialists to help individuals with Autism achieve their employment and post-secondary education goals.

Maura received her Bachelor of Social Work from George Mason University. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering for social justice organizations, sightseeing D.C., and spending time with friends and family.

Who are your education heroes? One of my education heroes is Malala Yousafzai. From a very young age, Malala understood the value of an education and almost sacrificed her life for it. Her ability to persevere and use her challenges as motivation to continue to advocate for education of young women is making a huge impact on education access around the world.

What is your favorite DQC resource? My favorite DQC resource is Grace’s Path to Success. I appreciate that it shows different pathways to a career goal and emphasizes the value that data driven decision making can play in this process. Showing teachers, students, and parents that there are many ways to achieve a dream and sharing an infographic that helps them understand why they should use data in these decisions is pretty powerful.

What’s your superpower? My superpower is my ability to make others comfortable sharing their story with me. I’ve always had people come up to me in stores or other public places and casually share part of their life story or issues they may be facing. I find comfort in that fact that people are able to trust me with personal information and it gives me the chance to have a genuine human connection with someone I may not have interacted with before.