Deeper Learning

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu

Emily Neff

Emily serves as the Director of Public Policy at Trying Together in Pittsburgh, PA. As a partner in the Early Learning PA Coalition, Trying Together works with advocates across the state to elevate early care and education and advocates for greater public investments for young children and the educators who serve them. In her role, Emily mobilizes early childhood educators to share their expertise with policymakers, engages families to tell their stories, and develops policy recommendations informed by the field to create a more equitable and accessible system. She is passionate about advocating alongside early childhood educators and ensuring that policy decisions are informed by their experiences.

Since Emily started at Trying Together as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in 2016, she has written policy briefs, developed advocacy trainings for educators and families, coordinated kindergarten transition efforts, and created a recess advocacy toolkit. The current child care crisis is at the center of Emily’s work and a significant social justice issue that impacts working families, women, BIPOC communities, rural communities, young children, and ultimately our economy and nation.

Previously, Emily served families and students from 25 elementary and middle schools while working for the New York City Department of Education as a Family Support Coordinator. She began her career in education as a first grade teacher in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. Her first grade students instilled in her the importance of learning through play and exploring race and identity through honest conversations. 

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Allegheny College and a master’s degree in education policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. Outside of education advocacy, Emily enjoys meditating, journaling, and traveling. She is a lifelong learner committed to trying new things and practicing accountability and grace.