Alexis ‘Ali’ Carella has served as a teacher, researcher, and advocate for marginalized youth, at both local and international levels, for over a decade. As a Senior Research Associate with the Social IMPACT Research Center, she focuses on big picture inquiry such as: cross-company participant-centered outcomes reporting, developing results frameworks and theories of change, internal technical assistance and more. Ali received her Ph.D. in Education: Literacy, Language and Culture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her research expertise coalesces around literacy, human rights, urban education and immigration studies. Ali’s research interests stem from her time as a teacher of unaccompanied immigrant youth with Heartland Alliance early on in her career. She is a firm believer in equitable access to education and social services and relies heavily on community engagement and conducting mindful and rigorous research to highlight areas of need and, in turn, work with various stakeholders to advocate for positive, social change.
Prior to joining the Social IMPACT Research Team, Ali was an Evidence-Based Researcher with the International Rescue Committee’s U.S. Programs Department. She also served as an English Language Fellow with the U.S. Department of State in Loja, Ecuador from 2014-2015 and was the Postdoctoral Visiting Literacy Research Specialist with the Center for Literacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2013-2014. Ali enjoys traveling, baking, drawing, reading, family time, wandering the streets of Chicago on her bicycle and all things pop culture.
In addition, Amy has been involved in multiple studies of unemployed adults with multiple employment barriers, and helped advise on the design and roll-out of large scale employment initiatives.