Paid Family Leave Research: Meet Nathalie

A team of first year MPA students at the University of North Carolina are partnering with ELGL to conduct original research on North Carolina local governments and paid family leave. In this series of blog posts, we meet the research team and hear their perspectives on this project and topic.


Nathalie Santos

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What are some ways this research can be used by North Carolina local governments?

My name is Nathalie Santos and I was born in the Philippines. I moved to America when I was six years old. For about sixteen years I lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I attended undergrad locally in Temple University where I studied Early Childhood and Elementary Education.

I wanted to become a teacher at a young age, when I was lucky enough to have a second-grade teacher who really took the time to invest in my education. Ms. Craig showed me the impact one dedicated and compassionate teacher can make in a child’s life; and instilled in me the value of being a lifelong learner.

Immediately after graduating from Temple University, I moved to New York to volunteer in an AmeriCorps program called City Year. As a Corps Member, I worked with eleven other young individuals to create an afterschool program in an underserved community in Long Island City. I stayed in New York for about two years until I received an opportunity to teach English in Malaysia as Fulbright Scholar.

I am currently a first-year graduate student in the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I am pursuing a degree in Public Administration to develop my knowledge, skills, and analytical ability to work either in local government or non-profits. I hope to design intervention programs in existing schools and communities to ensure that teachers and families have the tools they need to be successful.

I am excited to work with ELGL and my classmates to construct and compile research about Paid Family Leave.

The United States is the only developed country that does not have paid leave in a national level. We hope this research will inspire conversations about offering such benefits in North Carolina.

Local governments in North Carolina can use our research as reference when making decisions about employee benefits. Our report will provide specific information about barriers to implementing paid family leave.

It also include an analysis to the costs and benefits to offering these benefits to employees.

We further aim to help local government by including a literature review of best policies and practices across the nation and abroad.


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