Paytan Murray is a recipient of a Fellowship from the Marcy Migdal Fund for Educational Equality. The award supports exceptional students engaged in activities aimed at enhancing access to education for vulnerable students, either locally or throughout the world, and helping them succeed in their education. Click here to learn more about the Marcy Migdal Fund.
Growing up on a college campus with a single mother, education has always been the most central part of Paytan’s life. She moved fourteen different times throughout primary school to stay in a district with vast educational opportunities and academic support. Even though it was far outside her mother’s affordability, Paytan’s education was always “her way out”. After her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she knew more than ever that she was on her own. Over the past three years, Paytan has been supporting herself completely throughout college, planning to graduate a year early on top of working multiple jobs in the fields of education, leadership, and research.
One of her most formative working experiences was contributing to the development of Cascade Enrichment as a co-founder. In doing so, she was able to work with students across the country to increase education access amidst COVID-19. For that company, she created SAT/ACT workshops from scratch and established a “Stay Home School” program with curriculum and homework opportunities for K-12 students who needed supplemental assistance during the pandemic. At the age of 18, she conducted all of the hiring processes, created the invoices, spoke to families directly, and completed all of the contracted tutor check-ins. Through her time with Cascade Enrichment, Paytan was as able to build administrative, leadership, and industry-based understanding while scaling a company from housing only local clients to international coalitions.
With that, she has cultivated for the past year an extensive business plan that was launched this fall: E3 Tutoring (Education, Equity, Empowerment), and knows exactly what she needs to do to create the most long-lasting, meaningful impact. Utilizing the money from this fund and her skills as a leader, Paytan plans to expand the network that she has cultivated over the years to help people reach their educational goals with truly accessible information networks. More specifically, she plans to develop completely free programs for students that would focus on standardized testing preparation, college essay workshops, and general classroom assistance which would level the playing field for an incalculable number of students, following through on her belief that education is the ultimate equalizer.
After serving as a Student Director on the Snoqualmie Valley School Board where she was able to meet scholastic leaders all over the country, she fortunately still maintains many of those relationships and plans to use her network in order to reignite conversations with leaders in underrepresented communities to identify tangible opportunities for growth. With these kinds of conversations, strategy leaders can create meaningful, localized change.
As an individual who has personally experienced homelessness and extreme socioeconomic hardship coupled with her prior experience as a business manager, she feels very well suited to support individuals in their pursuit of primary and post-secondary educational opportunities and is incredibly enthusiastic to be granted the chance to do so by the Marcy Migdal Fund for Education Equity.