Very cool article, Alicia! I’m glad you found an initiative that shares a lot of your same objectives. That certainly was not the case when I transferred from teaching to UX. How times have changed! One thing to try out as you continue learning UX and teaching it to students: Figma. It’s not as big or powerful as Adobe, but it is online, free, and highly collaborative. I use it primarily for work, as do a lot of big companies in the Bay Area.
Also curious… have you tried contacting Google to tell them about your designs that improve their product? I bet if you dug deep enough you might find a very appreciative product designer who could implement some of your ideas 😉.