Samantha “Sammy” Holquist, PhD, is a senior research scientist in the youth development and education research areas at Child Trends. She is dedicated to collaborating with youth, communities, researchers, and practitioners to reform educational systems and support secondary and postsecondary youth development and well-being.
Samantha is especially known for her technical assistance, research, and evaluation services. She supports schools, districts, postsecondary institutions, and state agencies in partnering with youth and communities to create more equitable learning environments that better meet youth’s needs. Her work intersects with topics of educational equity, implementation science, student voice, social and emotional learning, culturally responsive leadership and teaching, and data-based decision making. In the past several years, Samantha has built evidence on the importance of partnering with youth and communities when making decisions regarding youth development and well-being. Samantha has received funding for her work from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Institute for Education Sciences.
Prior to joining Child Trends, Samantha delivered technical assistance, research, and evaluation services to over 100 schools, districts, postsecondary institutions, and state agencies across the United States. Samantha is committed to delivering services that improve youth outcomes. Her experiences as a researcher, youth service provider, educator, and nonprofit leader shape how she supports stakeholders. She works closely with stakeholders to collect, analyze, and use data and research evidence to inform their decision making. Samantha is looking forward to further partnerships with schools, districts, postsecondary institutions, and state agencies interested in collaborating with youth and communities to reform education systems and create more equitable learning environments.
Samantha received her PhD in organizational leadership, policy, and development from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University.