I get to learn from great political minds, work with seasoned campaign veterans and witness real change.
Tim was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, blissfully unaware of the challenges and plights that faced our country.
In 2008, after graduating from Macalester College with a degree in chemistry, Tim found a job at a paint company in his Oregon hometown. But even with stable income, secure job placement and social acceptance of his profession, Tim was unsatisfied with his professional career. Something was missing.
Looking to make a difference, Tim moved back to Minnesota and completed two years of AmeriCorps. Through that experience, he learned that our public education system does not adequately serve the children who need it most: students of color and low-income children.
Frustrated with the scope of his impact, Tim joined MinnCAN in 2011 as the MinnCAN fellow and in 2012, was promoted to the executive assistant to Vallay Varro, then founding executive director of MinnCAN. Tim now serves as the development associate for Team Growth at 50CAN, helping launch new state campaigns that will advocate for commonsense education reform to ensure all students have access to a great school.
I aspire to be like my parents, Henny Buditjahja and Peir Lee. Here’s why:
After graduating from the University of Oregon, they decided to leave their family behind in southeast Asia to build a better life for my siblings and me. My parents worked day and night to provide us with great opportunity. Because of their hard work and sacrifice, I owe it to them to make the most of my opportunities, fulfill my dreams and make them proud.
My parents are not famous advocates or political heroes, but to me they represent the unsung, hard-working, everyday citizens that make our communities strong and vibrant.
Why I love my job:
I love my job because I get to learn from great political minds, work with seasoned campaign veterans and witness real change.
My connection to public schools:
As an AmeriCorps volunteer I tutored high school students in math and science. My students were some of the most influential people I’ve ever met. They taught me to never give up, that I don’t know everything and that the future is bright.
What I'm bad at:
I am really bad at crossword puzzles. Really bad.
The image that represents why I work at 50CAN:
This image reminds me of the closed-door meetings that legislators have every year. The outcome of these meetings can have an enormous impact on millions of students. Unfortunately the children who are most affected by bad policy have no voice. I work at 50CAN because I believe in our ability to bring their voices to lawmakers and ensure that sound, research-based policy is implemented.