Meet a Fordie: Darian Burns

Where are you from?

I was born in Detroit, MI and lived in Southfield until I was 7 years old. My family moved to Atlanta, GA which is where I was raised and graduated high school and what I consider my permanent home.

What were you doing before you came to Ford?

Before I came to Ford, I was attending Seattle Pacific University where I studied Urban Studies and Social Justice and Cultural Studies and competed collegiately on their Division II gymnastics team. I graduated in June 2020 and started at Ford later that fall.

Why did you choose Ford?

I had the privilege to participate in the Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) here at the Ford School from June-July 2019, the summer leading into my senior year of undergrad. This was my first formal introduction to public policy along with a cohort of incredible, policy-oriented students from across the country. I was introduced to Ford’s MPP curriculum and had the opportunity to learn from some incredible Ford School professors and faculty. From then on I knew I’d be coming back to Ford. Covid-19 had a hand in making that happen sooner than originally anticipated, but I’m happy to be here.

What do you want to do with your Ford degree?

I would love to experience work full time and have steady income after being a student for 18 years straight, lol. I’m interested in Education Policy so I hope to join that field after I graduate doing work on initiatives for equitable access to higher education for first-generation, minority, and low-income students.