William Roberts

William (Billy) Roberts is an Ethics, Politics, and Economics major from Williamsburg, Virginia. He is primarily interested in educational equity and access to effective schooling; more particularly, he is interested in how the law affects these issues. He hopes one day to go to law school to learn about the mechanisms through which positive change can be effected. Outside of the academic sphere, he also enjoys rock climbing, is an avid Chance the Rapper fan, and spends much of his time volunteering as co-director of Camp Kesem at Yale.


The summer after his sophomore year, Roberts spent eight weeks at Cambridge University researching pro-market education policy. He worked under the supervision of Dr. Sonia Ilie to create a literature review and policy reform proposal titled “Competition in Schooling: An Empirical and Theoretical Analysis,” which he is now attempting to publish in a peer-reviewed journal.

During his sophomore academic year, Roberts also co-authored two research papers as part Dr. Mira Debs’s course Public Schools and Public Policy. One paper used unique data analysis to consider the equity and efficacy of online schools managed by K12 Inc., an educational management organization, and can be found online here. The other proposed a federal teacher training program and offered a novel vision for the future of teacher training, and can be found online here.


Since his first year at Yale, Roberts has been heavily involved in Yale’s chapter of Camp Kesem, an organization that hosts a free, week-long summer camp for children whose parents have been affected by cancer. He volunteered for two years as part of the organization’s development team, one as a committee member and one as co-coordinator. While he was co-coordinator, the team successfully raised over $90,000, which represented nearly 50% growth from the previous year. His sophomore year, he also served as the organization’s treasurer. Now, he is working as co-director, and hopes to continue to help grow the program.

Roberts also has a campus job working as a Communication and Consent Educator (CCE). The CCE program is Yale’s primary program working to reduce instances of sexual misconduct on campus. As a CCE, Billy conducts mandatory, school-wide workshops for first-years and sophomores, which help provide tools, information, and skills for preventing sexual misconduct. He also works actively as a member of his community to foster a positive social and sexual culture, and acts as a resource for peers in need of personalized assistance.