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Admissions Blog

Student Profile

Yoel Haile, MPP '16

Name: Yoel Y. Haile

Year: First

Policy Area of Concentration: Urban and Social Policy

GSPP Graduation Year: 2016

Undergraduate School: UC Santa Barbara

Personal History: I grew up in Asmara, Eritrea and immigrated to the U.S in mid-2006. I began 10th grade in San Jose, CA, and went on to attend UC Santa Barbara for my undergraduate degrees in Black Studies and Political Science. I was a PPIA 2012 fellow and studied abroad in South Africa for 6 months as well. At UC Santa Barbara, I was heavily involved in student and community organizing about issues of racial justice and educational access and equity. I’m one of the few students who came to Goldman straight out of undergrad


What attracted you to GSPP? I did PPIA Junior Summer Institute at GSPP and was impressed with the collaborative environment and supporting atmosphere. Also, Martha Chavez (Assistant Dean for Academic Affiars) is a rock star. I’m at GSPP because of her. 

How did you prepare for the GSPP application and admissions process? I did a thorough research of what GSPP looks for, started writing my statement of purpose early and sought feedback from many trusted mentors, and prepared an application package that tried to hit on the many things GSPP looks for in candidates.

What have you enjoyed most during your time at GSPP? Good friendships and the collaborative environment amongst the cohort.

What was your professional background before GSPP and what do you look to do with your degree upon graduation? I came directly from my undergraduate institution. I look forward to rendering my skills, knowledge, and commitment at the service of Black people and working-class communities in our struggle for self-determination, justice, and the seizure of political and economic power. 

What is your favorite thing about being a student in the Bay Area? I love that the Bay Area is a hub for political organizing and activism. Oakland is the birthplace of the Black Panther Party and having access to so many freedom fighters and a vibrant culture of resistance is beautiful. 

In your view, what type of person will benefit from a GSPP education? Anybody who’s looking to contribute something positive to society can benefit from a GSPP education.

What has been your favorite class? Introductory to Policy Analysis (IPA), because I can work with real-world clients who are doing good work. 

Who is your favorite faculty member? Steve Raphael

What is your best memory from GSPP? Getting to know the awesome people in the program.