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Community-driven, equity-focused leadership, education, and workforce transformation.

Rachel Fried

Rachel Fried

GEAR UP Program Coordinator
Appalachian State University

Headshot: Rachel FriedRachel Fried is a social justice educator who has served across the nation from rural Appalachian and Native American communities to urban areas on both coasts. Since graduating from Columbia University, she has spent the majority of her career creating comprehensive college and career readiness strategies focused on access and attainment for underserved students. She has seen firsthand how the power of education can change family trajectories and believes that centering schools on community and cultural preservation is critical.

Fried’s work has included positions in K-12 senior administration, direct service college access counseling in multiple states, developing culturally relevant secondary curricula, and undergraduate admissions for Ivy League, large public, and selective liberal arts schools. She has reviewed more than 100,000 applications of students from all walks of life, and currently teaches educators innovative approaches to equip students with the necessary skills to navigate systemic inequities.
A frequent presenter on career preparation, Fried believes that passion plays a pivotal role for all students throughout their educational and professional journeys. Her writings on passion-led career exploration have been featured in national publications by the Association for Career and Technical Education.

Fried also serves on multiple boards, where she advises on topics ranging from strategic diversity plans to counselor community engagement. She believes firmly that true educational equity exists when all students are able to choose for themselves from all postsecondary pathways.

When she is not working, Fried can be found tying flies or tightening lines in the nearest body of water.