Ja'Nya Banks

Graduate Associate

Ja'Nya Banks is a first year Master's student in the Penn GSE Education Policy Program.

Ja'Nya is originally from Maryland and spent the last few years across the DC metropolitan area. Prior to coming to Penn, Ja'Nya taught Special Education and Inclusion and the primary and secondary levels. While working in a Title I school, her teaching led her to explore the impact of mentorship, restorative justice, and trauma informed practices in the classroom. She attended the University of Maryland, College Park, for her undergraduate and graduate studies, earning a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Special Education and a minor in Public Leadership. While there, she was a member of the President's Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Student Government Association. 

Ja'Nya's passion includes making education more accessible to students with varying socio-economic, learning and language needs. Her research interests include analyzing the gaps of education law and policy at the intersection of disability and English Language learning. 

In her free time, you might catch her watching a football game, cooking to her favorite playlist, or enjoying an afternoon by the water.