Higher Education Policy Fellow
Sonny Metoki is the higher education policy fellow for The Education Trust in Tennessee. In this role, Sonny analyzes data and research to support equity-driven policies that help students attend and complete an education beyond high school.
Before joining The Education Trust, Sonny worked as a graduate fellow at the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), where he supported convenings of education leaders like the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute and worked on projects to develop SCORE’s postsecondary policy agenda.
Prior to moving to Nashville, Sonny built his passion for education while working as a student affairs administrator at Michigan State University, the University of Illinois–Springfield, and Concordia College–Moorhead. Sonny’s background in student affairs includes developing a pilot first-year student support program, student conduct, and residential education.
Originally from Michigan, Sonny holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Michigan State University. Currently, he is a graduate student at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, where he is a candidate for the master’s of public policy in education policy with a higher education concentration.
Favorite Sports Team
The Kansas City Royals. I was born in Kansas and have followed the Royals since I was a kid.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I love to garden, cook, and stay active! Cooking different foods is how I express myself and show love to others.
Why are you passionate about working at Ed Trust?
My parents are both immigrants from Japan, and they instilled in me early the value of education and its ability to change lives and open doors for people, regardless of where you come from. In my time working in higher education, my proudest moments have been to see former students grow and eventually achieve the dreams they set when they first entered higher education. However, I have also seen how differential access to resources and opportunities can too often derail a student from their aspirations. I am proud to work alongside many partners and leaders who are committed to ensuring that each student has the opportunity to obtain postsecondary education and excited to continue advancing education equity in this work.