Patrick Steck (he/him) serves as the Vice President of External Affairs at Deans for Impact. Patrick is driven by a deep passion to serve others and a belief that policy is a powerful tool for advancing equity and joy, particularly for the LGBTQIA+ community. Patrick thrives in settings that allow him to explore these passions, including serving as Vice President for the Austin Dawgs, a chapter of University of Georgia's Alumni Association and as member of his church's Welcome Team. Patrick currently resides in Austin, Texas, with his wife (Katie) and son (Grant).
What compels you about DFI's mission of ensuring that every child has a well-prepared teacher?
I'm compelled by DFI's belief that systems can be transformed to create a more equitable and just society, especially for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized communities. Although this work is challenging and often ambiguous, we remain committed to seeking solutions that prepare teachers that embrace each child's full humanity and empower them to achieve the life they've imagined for themselves.
What do you enjoy most about working at DFI?
As an athlete, I believe there's nothing more important for achieving success than a strong team, which is why I'm so thankful the people on this team are what I enjoy most about working at DFI. The people at DFI inspire me, hold me accountable, and, most of all, push me to explore and embrace my full humanity so that I can meaningfully contribute to our shared vision for teaching and learning in America.
What's a principle, philosophy, or quote you live by, and why?
"Live the questions now."
Since 2012, I've come back to this piece of a longer quote by poet Rainer Maria Rilke's as a reminder that beauty, love, and joy exist everywhere, even in the "unsolved" questions of our heart. Yet that beauty, love, and joy stands to escape us if we're not brave enough to, "live the questions now."
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love experiences that remind me how to feel the physical nature of life. Things like fighting sleep to get up (or stay up) for sunrise, plunging into frigid waters, screaming at the top of my lungs at Georgia football games, belting the lyrics of my favorite Lizzo and John Mayer songs on a crowded dance floor, or doing almost anything for a good sweat.