1. An NPEA Member Spotlight On… Gateway Public Schools!

    Every month, we will feature an NPEA member who recently joined. We hope you enjoy getting the chance to learn more about some of the people and organizations within our network! Interested in being included in an NPEA spotlight? Fill out this form

    Get to know Sharon Olken, Executive Director of Gateway Public Schools:

    Describe your program or your work in one sentence.

    Gateway Public Schools is a non-profit charter school organization dedicated to changing historic patterns of achievement by ensuring our diverse student body has the habits, skills and resources necessary for success in college and beyond.

    What challenges do you or your organization/school face that you were hoping to address by joining NPEA?

    We are eager to improve our understanding of our alumni’s experiences and success after they graduate from Gateway – in college and beyond.  We are also interested in developing stronger relationships and partnerships with colleges and universities who are committed to supporting first generation students and students of color and helping them thrive at the post-secondary level.

    What’s on your desk at the moment?

    We Dare Say Love: Supporting Achievement in the Educational Life of Black Boys by Na’ilah Suad Nasir, Jarvis R. Givens, and Christopher P. Chatmon; Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond; my To-Do list and notebook; a huge water bottle; flowers from Gateway High School’s garden; and San Francisco Giants’ bobbleheads (Willie Mays and Buster Posey).

    What are your goals for this year?

    Going into next school year, we are excited to focus on ways to foster collaboration across organizations on behalf of students.  We hope to continue to share our student agency work through Gateway Impact and engage schools and districts in conversations about how teachers are compensated and supported in their professional growth. Over the past several years, Gateway has engaged in an ambitious teacher salary project to ensure our educators make a livable wage and launched Gateway Impact, a collaborative professional development platform sharing Gateway’s best practices and resources with educators at no cost to its users.

    What have you found most helpful since you joined our network?

    Specific resources related to increasing access and success in college for traditionally underrepresented students, models of successful programs and aspirational approaches, inspirational leaders and educators.

    What’s a hobby you use to relax outside of work?

    Cooking, reading, trying to learn Pilates. And, rooting for Bay Area sports teams!

    Is there anything you’d like to share with the rest of the membership?

    I have been a teacher and educational leader for more than 20 years, and in that time I have attended many education gatherings and conferences – some memorable and some not-so-much. I was totally blown away and inspired by the NPEA conference and the people I met there. What a fantastically talented and powerful group of people.

  2. Member Spotlight: City Year Boston

    May 2017 Member Spotlight: City Year Boston


    Elevator Speech: City Year is dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. In Boston, City Year recruits, trains, and deploys AmeriCorps members into service in 21 schools across the Boston Public Schools (BPS), where they reach more than 10,000 students every day and collectively serve more than 450,000 hours over the academic year. Diverse teams of City Year Boston AmeriCorps members serve full-time in schools, providing school-wide and individualized support to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. City Year Boston focuses its interventions in three key areas, helping students improve their performance in attendance, positive behavior, and coursework in math and English Language Arts. City Year Boston is part of a national network working in 27 urban communities across the U.S. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year Boston’s service is made possible by support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, school district partnerships, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals.


  3. Member Spotlight: Give Something Back

    February 2017 Member Spotlight: Give Something Back

    Updated Give Back


    Elevator Speech: Give Something Back (“Give Back”) is an educational focused public charity that provides mentors and scholarships to help Pell Grant-eligible students go to college and graduate in four years, debt free. The program selects lower-income, academically driven students in 9th grade through an application and interview process. Once enrolled, Give Back pairs them with mentors, offers them academic and social enrichment programming, and requires them to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA while taking a college preparatory course load. Scholars then attend a Give Back partner college or university, debt free, and graduate in four years. Founded in 2003, Give Back currently serves over 200 students annually, and has expanded to locations in Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The organization has seen strong results, as Give Back’s scholar alumni have a 90% on-time graduation rate at 4-year colleges and 100% employment rate among alumni with college degrees. (more…)

  4. Williams College

    November/December 2016 Member Spotlight: Williams College



    Elevator Speech: Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, MA (about 135 miles northwest of Boston). Founded in 1793, Williams was one of the trailblazing schools that launched American higher education and has path-breaking originality in its DNA. Most notably, Williams offers more than 60 Tutorials each year, which are academic experiences that pair two students with a faculty member in deep inquiry of a single topic over an entire semester. The college also boasts a longstanding commitment to enrolling and supporting underrepresented students. Williams is one of about four-dozen colleges in the U.S. that practices need-blind admission for domestic applicants (including undocumented students and those with DACA status) and meets 100% of the demonstrated need of every admitted student, every year. The college enrolls 2,200 students who hail from nearly every state and more than 85 countries. Nearly 40% of Williams’ students are American students of color, and 15% are the first in their families to attend college. Half of all Williams’ students receive financial aid from the college. (more…)

  5. The Achieve Program at Noble and Greenough School

    October 2016 Member Spotlight: The Achieve Program at Noble and Greenough School



    Elevator Speech: The Achieve Program (“Achieve”) at Noble and Greenough School (“Nobles”) is a school-based, non-profit organization that provides academic and social enrichment through summer and academic year (Saturday) programming to selected, motivated students in grades 6-12 from Boston Public Schools (BPS) who qualify for federal free or reduced lunch. Achieve is housed at Nobles in Dedham, MA, and represents a unique private and public school partnership between Nobles and BPS to best serve the greater Boston community. The program was founded in 2007, and currently serves over 160 students from 30 BPS schools located in communities such as Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Charlestown, and East Boston. Achieve scholars are motivated, resilient, and thoughtful. Currently 98% are students of color, 89% will be first generation college students, and 70% speak a second language at home.


  6. Future Leaders Program

    September 2016 Member Spotlight: Brewer Foundation Future Leaders Program (FLP)


    Elevator Speech: The Brewer Foundation Future Leaders Program (FLP) is an educational access nonprofit that provides academic resources and leadership training to deserving students from the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) in Dallas, Texas. FLP is one initiative of the Brewer Foundation (formerly, the Bickel & Brewer Foundation), which is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation funded annually by the generosity of the law firm Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, as well as donor contributions. Founded in 2001, FLP has been recognized by both the Texas State Board of Education and the Texas Governor’s Office, and has now emerged as a national model of public-private partnership. FLP works with 23 DISD partner schools and serves over 300 DISD students in grades 5-12, as well as graduates now attending college. The program is available for free to students from economically challenged neighborhoods in South Dallas, Oak Cliff, and West Dallas. Students are chosen for FLP based on their scholastic aptitude, school attendance, civic involvement, and leadership potential. Once enrolled, students participate in academic enrichment programming on weekends, as well as intensive summer programming for high school students to assist with college research, applications, and more.


  7. Odyssey

    August 2016 Member Spotlight: Odyssey


    Elevator Speech: With support and partnership from The Westminster Schools and Atlanta Public Schools, Odyssey launched in 2005 as an educational access nonprofit that runs summer and out-of-school time programming for highly motivated students in grades 1-12 with significant demonstrated financial, academic, and/or social-emotional needs. Odyssey’s primary focus is running a robust six-week summer academic enrichment program held on the prestigious campus of The Westminster Schools. The summer program enrolls around 36 students per grade level—over 380 students in grades 1-12 served annually—and attracts master teachers to provide rigorous academic courses focused on project-based learning. During the academic year, students are also given the opportunity to attend college fairs, college tours, participate in career exploration programming, be paired with a mentor, and receive college application and financial aid advising and support.


  8. Lyford Cay Foundation

    July 2016 Member Spotlight: Lyford Cay Foundation


    Elevator Speech: Launched in 1969, Lyford Cay Foundation is a philanthropic organization focused on supporting low-income, first generation, K-12 students on their paths to and through college. The Foundation began as a charity distributing small grants to non-profits in The Bahamas in the 1970s and ventured into providing scholarships for Bahamian students in the 1980s. Over the last decade, seeing the need to better prepare first generation, public school students for college, the Foundation designed and launched its own college access programming. The Foundation’s core belief is that increasing educational attainment across the country is key to the development of a prosperous, healthy, and peaceful Bahamas. Lyford Cay Foundation currently runs four major programs: FOCUS, Cutillas Scholars, Scholarships, and Grants programs.


  9. Bowdoin Bound

    June 2016 Member Spotlight: Bowdoin Bound



    Elevator Speech: Launched in 2002, Bowdoin Bound is a small, regional nonprofit organization that partners with Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME) to expand educational access opportunities through summer programming for high achieving, low-income middle school and high school students of color from inner city Baltimore. In 1802, Bowdoin College enrolled its first eight students, and then President Joseph McKeen urged them to work “for the common good,” a phrase that came to epitomize Bowdoin’s sense of mission. When alumnus Daniel Spears founded Bowdoin Bound in 2002 with its first cohort consisting of fifteen 5th graders, the College drew on this mission to provide in-kind donations through dorm space, the dining hall, scholarships, and invaluable staff time for workshops presented by representatives from the Offices of Admission and Student Aid. Over the past 15 years, Bowdoin Bound has grown to support over thirty-five middle and high school students annually, and remains a commitment shared between the college and volunteers.


  10. Management Leadership for Tomorrow

    April 2016 Member Spotlight: Management Leadership for Tomorrow



    Elevator Speech: Launched in 2002, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) is a national nonprofit organization that is transforming the career and life trajectories of a new generation of diverse leaders. MLT is also expanding its partners’ talent pipelines at more than 100 leading corporations, social enterprises, and universities. MLT’s acclaimed programs propel the careers of high-potential African American, Latino, and Native American women and men – more than 5,000 and growing. MLT’s programs span the career spectrum – from college (Career Prep) to MBA (MBA Prep and MBA Professional Development) to the executive level (Career Advancement Program).

    MLT’s newest initiatives include MLT Ascend, in which MLT’s Rising Leaders (alumni) volunteer to coach low-income and first-generation college students, and the Africa Business Fellowship, an opportunity for American business professionals to gain up to six months experience working with an African-led company in Africa. In partnership with top-tier corporations such as Citi, Google, Deloitte, LinkedIn, Goldman Sachs, and PepsiCo, along the top 25 business schools, MLT has achieved breakthrough results for its community of rising leaders. MLT has been featured on the cover of Fortune, and in CNN’s “Black in America 2: Tomorrow’s Leaders” series. MLT’s experience and expertise are influencing national conversations about opportunity, race, workforce diversity, and economic mobility, and proving that these vexing gaps and inequities can be overcome.