Oakland Promise (OP) Provides Cradle to College Savings, Scholarships & Support

Oakland Promise is available to young learners (from newborns to college students) and their families who reside in Oakland. OP offers every child the financial resources, educational programming, mentorship, and a supportive community to help them and their families, to seek out and thrive in higher education and the career of their choosing.

Our Vision

A thriving Oakland community without barriers to educational opportunity.

Our Mission

Engaging the Oakland community to advance equity and economic mobility through cradle to college and career achievement.

History & Nonprofit Status

In 2016, Oaklanders came together to make a promise to every child in our city, offering them the resources, support, coaching, and incentives they need from birth and throughout their school years to empower them to seek out and thrive in the higher education and career of their choosing. With equity as a focus, Oakland Promise works to give kids and their families the opportunity to make this promise a reality.

In 2019, Oakland Promise and East Bay College Fund (which has been supporting college students since 2003) merged into one unified organization named Oakland Promise. OP is a founding partner of the Northern California College Promise Coalition (NCCPC). A detailed independent report on OP’s work and effectiveness can be found here that was developed by the Center of Assets, Education and Inclusion (AEDI) at the University of Michigan.

Non-Profit Status

Oakland Promise is a 501c3 non-profit public benefit organization registered with the State of California’s Attorney General Department of Justice. Federal tax ID is #54-2103707 and is listed here with the IRS as a public charity and tax-exempt organization. OP’s 501c3 non-profit status is further verified and confirmed in this IRS letter.  All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. As a 501(c)(3) organization, OP does not directly or indirectly participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.

To understand more about Oakland Promise’s history, merger and nonprofit work, please read this document (as of January 2022).   Here is OP’s November 2022 Community Briefing Report and also our November 2021 Community Briefing Report.

Oakland Promise is a Platinum-Level GuideStar participant, with a seal demonstrating our commitment to transparency;  Oakland Promise also has a Charity Navigator “Overall Score of 100 out of 100 in the Finance & Accountability” category in 2021 and rated as a “Four Star Charity”.

Where Our Money Goes

Budget Summary

Our FY 2023 Budget is Applied to Optimize Impact


Programs services for kids, students, families or programs


Direct payment to kids, students and families (includes scholarships and CSAs)


General & Administrative

* Programs Services for kids, students families or programs: This category includes any expenditure spent directly on students, families or programs. Programs include staff dedicated fully or partially towards the advancement of a program effort that has a direct impact on students and/or families. More specifically this includes all of OP’s programs, data, communications and assigned portion of G&A labor FTE that work directly on programs.

Our Impact since Inception in 2016: Oakland Promise's Impact is Enhanced through our Initiatives and Partnerships with about 100 Organizations.

To make a difference for Oakland’s young people, it takes collaboration with so many organizations that intersect with the educational ecosystem.

Our Partnership Philosophy (from an African Proverb): "If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together".

The alignment of all stakeholders leads to a likelihood of success for all our students and creates funding opportunities to make systemic change.

Community Partnerships

Harlem Children’s Zone, Oakland NAACP, Oakland Children’s Hospital, Latino Men and Boys, African American Male Achievement (AAMA), African American Female Excellence (AAFE) Sage Financial Solutions and many more.

Educational Partnerships

Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), Destination College Advising Corp (DCAC), higher education institution partners (HBCUs, UCs, CSUs, Peralta Colleges, Mills) and many more.

City, Regional and National Partnerships

Mayor’s Office, City of Oakland, #OaklandUndivided, Oakland Thrives, Northern California College Promise Coalition (NCCPC), Promise Net, OnePercent for Education and many more.

Corporate Partnerships

PG&E, City of Oakland, OUSD, San Francisco Foundation, Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman/Crankstart Foundation, Koshland Family Foundation, Arthur Rock and Toni Rembe Rock, Marc and Lynne Benioff, Moyer Washington Fund, Hellman Foundation and more.

Funding Partnerships

City of Oakland, OUSD, San Francisco Foundation, Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman/Crankstart Foundation, Koshland Family Foundation, Arthur Rock and Toni Rembe Rock, Marc and Lynne Benioff, Moyer Washington Fund, Hellman Foundation and more.

Who We Are

We have a team that works with our board, advisory board, partners and volunteers across a network to create a movement that helps young people achieve their potential.

Barbara Fremder

East Bay College Fund Founder

Carl Washington

Strategic Partnerships Executive, Business Development Leader

Colin Lacon

Kaiser Permanente East Bay, Director of Public Affairs

James Harrison *

Olson Remcho, LLP, Partner, OP Board Secretary

Joel Mackey

Bay Area Community Resources (BACR), Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, Attorney at Law in Private Practice

Kim Thompson

CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellow and Principal at PwC

Kyla Johnson Trammell

Oakland Unified School District, Superintendent

Maria Pirner

Oakland Unified School District, Teacher, Elementary

Dr. Michael McAfee *

PolicyLink, CEO, OP Board President

Riaz Taplin

Riaz Inc., Founder

Robert Stark*

SpencerStuart, Partner

Rosaura M. Altamirano

Oakland Promise Parent Community Ambassador

Seth Hamalian *

Mission Bay Development Group, Managing Principal, OP Board Treasurer

Susie Poncelet

Former East Bay College Fund Board Secretary

Susan Stutzman *

Board Vice President*, Former EBCF Board President

Annie Campbell Washington

Dean of Students, UC Berkeley Goldman School

Barbara Leslie

President & CEO, Oakland Chamber Of Commerce

Bert Lubin (Deceased)

Fmr. President & CEO, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland; Associate Dean for Children's Health

Chris Iglesias

CEO, The Unity Council

George Holland

President, NAACP Oakland

James Harris

District 7 Director, OUSD School Board

James Head

President & CEO, East Bay Community Foundation

Jane Garcia

CEO, La Clinica De La Raza

Janis Burger

CEO, First 5 Alameda County (Retired)

Jeff Semenchuk

Chief Innovation Officer, Blue Shield of California

John Valva

Former Executive Director of Alumni And Constituent Affairs, UC Office Of The President

Jowel C. Laguerre

Chancellor, Peralta District

Karen Monroe

Superintendent of Schools, Alameda County

Michael Sorrell

President, Paul Quinn College

Susan Muranishi

County Administrator, Alameda County

Tony Thurmond

Assemblymember, California State Assembly

Wilma Chan (deceased)

Supervisor, Alameda County

Abieyuwa Oghogho

Program Coordinator, Kindergarten to College (K2C)

Aiyani Scott

Program Coordinator, Brilliant Baby

Alitta Boyd

Senior Program Manager, College Access

Amani Abou Harb

Senior Manager, Impact & Evaluation

Arbour Decker

Chief Development Officer

Danica Dabic

Accounting Associate

Daniel Russell-Cheung

Associate Program Manager, College Completion

Deprece Bonilla

Program Associate, Brilliant Baby

Diana Hoang

CREWS Program Coordinator

Diego Pinto

Senior Program Manager, Brilliant Baby

Ebony Boyd

HR Coordinator, Human Resources

Eliana Coria

Manager, Grants & Accounting

Harmela Beyene

Program Manager, College Completion

Ivan Chavez

Program Coordinator, College Access

Jamie So

Associate Manager of Matriculation and Persistence

Jazmin Contreras

Development Coordinator

Jazz Broughton

Program Manager, College Access

Jessica Vazquez

Mentor Program Manager

Jocelyn Bustillos Verdugo

Operations & Accounting Coordinator

Joci Kelleher

Director, Brilliant Baby

Jonathan Coelho

Program Associate, College Completion

Katya Kirian

Senior Manager, Finances and Reporting

Lauren Reed

Director, Impact and Evaluation

Lia Mezzio

Associate Manager of Institutional Giving, Development

Linda Nguyen

Senior Partnerships Manager

Lucina Parada

Associate Manager of Workforce and Alumni Support

Luis Galvan

Program Coordinator, College Completion

Marcelo Duran Avalos

Director, College Completion

Maribel Cervantes

Program Associate, Kindergarten to College (K2C)

Melissa Elizalde

Program Coordinator, College Completion

Monique Recoder

Senior Program Manager, College Completion

Pete Haviland-Eduah

Director of Communications and External Affairs

Rachelle Cardona

Program Coordinator, College Completion

Reequanza McBride

Program Manager, Kindergarten to College (K2C)

Sam Tesoro

Financial Analyst

Sandra Ernst

CEO, Oakland Promise

Shukri Abdullahi

Program Coordinator, College Access

Tiana Corona

Senior Manager, Corporate & Community Relations

Tonya Chapman

Manager, Human Resources & Operations

Veena Pawloski

Chief Program Officer

Vinh Trinh

College and Career Center / OUSD Liaison

Yabnely Lara

Program Coordinator, Brilliant Baby

Yadira Hernandez-Figueroa

Mentor Program Coordinator, College Completion

Zenni Duong

Senior Program Manager

Oakland Promise Partners

To achieve our bold vision, it is essential we partner with strong Oakland organizations.

Our Corporate Circle Partners

  • Blue Shield of California
  • Chime
  • Citi
  • First Republic Bank
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Harmless Harvest
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • PG&E
  • Turnitin
  • Square
  • WindRiver

Brilliant Baby Partners

  • Alameda County Public Health Department
  • Bananas
  • Brighter Beginnings
  • 4Cs
  • City of Oakland Early Head Start
  • First 5 Alameda County
  • Family Independence Initiative
  • Help A Mother Out
  • Help me Grow
  • EARN
  • my529
  • Oakland Fund For Children and Youth
  • Oakland Natives Give Back
  • Oakland Starting Smart & Strong
  • Prosperity Now and 1:1 Fund
  • Roots Clinic
  • Sage Financial Solutions
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
  • The Unity Council
  • Tandem
  • West Oakland Health Council

Kindergarten To College Partners

  • AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Centro Legal de la Raza
  • East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
  • Family Independence Initiative
  • KinderPrep, A Project of the Oakland Rotary Club
  • Junior Achievement
  • Playworks
  • my529
  • Reading Partners
  • Self Help Federal Credit Union
  • Super Stars Literacy
  • Talking Points

College, career, and community readiness partners

  • African American Male Achievement
  • Aim High
  • Asian Pacific Islander Student Achievement
  • College Track
  • East Bay Asian Youth Center
  • East Bay Consortium
  • East Bay College Fund
  • Latino Men and Boys Program (The Unity Council)
  • My Brother’s Keeper Alliance
  • Technology Exchange
  • UC Berkeley Center for Educational Partnerships

College scholarships & completion/college partners

  • African American Male Achievement
  • Alameda County Office of Education
  • Allen University
  • Berkeley City College
  • Beyond 12
  • California State University East Bay
  • Cheyney University
  • CodeEd Academy
  • College of Alameda
  • College Track
  • David E Glover Center
  • East Bay College Fund
  • East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC)
  • Florida Memorial University
  • Full Circle Fund
  • Future of Tech Partners
  • Gameheads
  • Hack the Hood
  • Harris-Stowe University
  • Holy Names University
  • Intel
  • Kentucky State University
  • Laney College
  • Level Playing Field Institute
  • Masons
  • Merritt College
  • Mills College
  • Notre Dame de Namur University
  • Oakland Rotary
  • Oral Lee Brown
  • Paul Quinn College
  • Peralta College Office of the Chancellor
  • Qeyno Labs
  • San Francisco State University
  • Student Program for Academic and Athletic Transitioning (SPAAT)
  • TechHire
  • Texas College
  • The Hidden Genius Project
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California Davis
  • University of California Office of the President
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Santa Clara
  • Virginia University of Lynchburg
  • YesWeCode
  • Youth Radio

Some Other OP Partners and Donors

  • Arthur Rock and Toni Rembe Rock
  • Barry Bonds Foundation
  • Blue Shield of California
  • California Endowment
  • City of Oakland
  • Crankstart Foundation
  • Golden State Warriors Community Foundation
  • Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ)
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Lynne and Marc Benioff
  • PG&E
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Oakland Public Education Fund
  • Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)
  • The Koshland Family Foundation
  • Salesforce
  • Square
  • Stupski Foundation

Organizational Champions

Organizational Champions endorse the Oakland Promise and align to shared community outcomes.

  • Acts Full Gospel Church
  • African American Male Achievement Initiative
  • Aim High
  • Alameda County Community Asset Network
  • Alameda County Public Health Department
  • Alameda County Office of Education
  • Alameda Health System
  • Alternatives in Action
  • Art Media Entertainment – California Department of Education
  • Asian Health Services Community Health Center
  • Aspire Public Schools
  • Asset Funders Network
  • Baptist Ministers Union of Oakland
  • Bay Area Teen Science
  • Bay Area Urban Debate League
  • Bay Community Fellowship
  • Be a Mentor, Inc.
  • Book Trust
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope San Francisco Bay Area
  • Braven
  • Bridge the Chasm
  • Brighter Beginnings
  • California Charter Schools Association
  • Campaign for Black Male Achievement
  • Campaign for Free College Tuition
  • Center for Elders Independence
  • Centro Legal de la Raza
  • Chabot Space & Science Center
  • Chapter 510
  • Children’s Defense Fund
  • Citizen Schools
  • City of Oakland/City Administrator
  • City of Oakland/Community Action Program
  • City of Oakland/Head Start Program
  • City of Oakland/Human Services Agency
  • City of Oakland/Treasurer
  • Civic Nation
  • Clear Channel Outdoor
  • Coliseum College Prep Academy
  • College Bound
  • Community Engagement, OUSD
  • Community Financial Resources
  • Community Technology Network
  • Convergence Covenant Church
  • Devry University
  • EARN
  • East Bay Asian Youth Center
  • East Bay College Fund
  • East Bay Community Foundation
  • East Bay Consortium
  • East Bay Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation
  • East Oakland Boxing Association
  • Educate78
  • Education Redesign Lab, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Educational Coalition for Hispanics in Oakland
  • Enroll Oakland Characters
  • Ethol
  • Faith Network of the East Bay
  • Family Independence Initiative
  • Family Paths, Inc.
  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • First 5 Alameda County
  • First Place for Youth
  • Footsteps 2 Brilliance
  • Fred Finch Youth Center
  • Friedman Family Foundation
  • Full Court Press Communications
  • Game Theory Academy
  • Generation Citizen
  • GO Public Schools Oakland
  • Golden State Warriors Community Foundation
  • Great School Choices
  • Hack the Hood
  • Harbor House Ministries
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Alameda County
  • Holy Names University
  • Holy Names University Upward Bound Project
  • iMentor
  • InPlay
  • Inside Track
  • Irene S. Scully Family Foundation
  • Jostens
  • Juma Ventures
  • Junior Achievement of Northern California
  • Lao Family Community Development
  • Latino Education Network
  • Leadership Public Schools
  • Lend A Hand Foundation
  • Life Academy of Health and Bioscience
  • LifeLaunchr, Inc.
  • Lighthouse Community Charter School
  • Lincoln
  • LRNG
  • MarketingVUE
  • Menlo College
  • Merritt College
  • Mills College TRIO Programs
  • Museum of Jazz & Art
  • My Brother’s Keeper
  • National Equity Project
  • New Covenant Tabernacle Church
  • New Door Ventures
  • New Hope Covenant Church
  • New Leaders
  • Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce
  • Oakland Chamber of Commerce
  • Oakland Community Organization
  • Oakland Empowerment Scholarship, Mentoring & Sports Program for Girls
  • Oakland High School
  • Oakland Housing Authority
  • Oakland Leaf
  • Oakland NAACP
  • Oakland Natives Give Back
  • Oakland Parents Together
  • Oakland Public Library
  • Oakland Rotary Club
  • Oakland Technology Exchange West
  • Oakland Temple Visitors Center
  • Oakland Turkey Trot
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • Oakland Workforce Development Board
  • Oakland Worship Center
  • Opportunity Fund
  • Partners in School Innovation
  • Partnership for Children and Youth
  • Peer Health Exchange
  • Peralta Community College District
  • Playworks
  • Points of Light
  • PolicyLink
  • Project Peace East Bay
  • Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink
  • Quest Foundation
  • Quest Therapeutic Camps
  • Rainbow PUSH Coalition
  • Reading Partners
  • Ready Nation
  • Redwood Heights School
  • Regeneration
  • Rex Consulting
  • Rogers Family Foundation
  • S and D Girl Talk
  • Sage Financial Solutions
  • San Francisco Foundation
  • Scholar’s Youth Sorority
  • ScholarShare, State of California Treasurer’s Office
  • Science is Elementary
  • Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link, Inc.
  • Sharks Ice
  • Shiloh Church
  • Spotlight Education
  • Springboard Collaborative
  • St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church
  • Stuart Foundation
  • StudentReach
  • Summer Search
  • Sungevity
  • Super Stars Literacy
  • Tandem, Partners in Early Learning
  • Teach for America
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • The College Promise Campaign
  • The Education Trust-West
  • The New West Oakland Movement
  • The Oral Lee Brown Foundation
  • The Zorgos Project
  • uAspire
  • UC Berkeley
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Center for Community Health and Engagement
  • United Negro College Fund
  • United Way Bay Area
  • Urban Strategies Council
  • West Oakland Job Resource Center
  • West Side MBC
  • Williams Chapel Baptist Church
  • World Impact, Inc.
  • WriterCoach Connection
  • Young Sparks Foundation
  • Youth ALIVE!
  • Youth Radio
  • Youth Transportation Organization
  • Youth UpRising

Financial Coaches

Diana Gamino

Financial Coach, Brilliant Baby

Marisela Sanchez

Financial Coach, Brilliant Baby

Monique Street

Financial Coach, Brilliant Baby

Rebecca Contin

Financial Coach, Brilliant Baby

Rita Zhang

Financial Coach, Brilliant Baby

Saundra Davis

Financial Consultant, Brilliant Baby

Vivian Padua

Financial Coach, Brilliant Baby

Teresa Garza

Financial Coach, Brilliant Baby


I am impressed by the bold and comprehensive approach of the Oakland Promise which has pulled together best practices from around the country. As former US Secretary of Education, I've seen many initiatives across the country ---- Oakland Promise is one of the most strategic and effective and has the potential to be a national model... it leverages private philanthropy for public dollars and has already achieved outstanding results. OP changes the trajectory of our Oakland students from the time they are born, through the time they graduate from college and enter the workforce. Oakland Promise is truly a game changer for Oakland and its future generations.”

Arne Duncan

Former Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama (2009-2015)

“(The) Oakland Promise focuses on family education early and often, offering financial education and student support, making college a reality for thousands more kids. By the time they apply for college in their senior year, (the) Promise students are ready to succeed, knowing that financial assistance and guidance is available. The Oakland Promise scholarship for non-tuition expenses gives them that extra boost to reduce college costs, so critical for low-income students to complete a college degree or career-technical certificate.”

Dr. Martha J. Kanter

Executive Director, College Promise Campaign; Former U.S. Under Secretary of Education (2009 - 2013)

"(The) Oakland Promise supports students and families on their journey to higher education by coupling direct financial aid with critical college access counseling and support. The total cost of attending college, including transportation, housing, and supplies, is out of reach for many Oakland students. In addition to coaching families through the college grant and scholarship application process, (the) Oakland Promise helps alleviate some of these cost barriers with gap-filling grants to support students' successful college enrollment and completion.”

Lande Ajose, Ph.D.

Executive Director of California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy

Video Testimonial

Find Out How To Get Involved

We need mentors, volunteers, donors, champions and partners to help us to create more impact for Oakland’s youth. Please note that the mentor recruitment season is open for the 2022 - 2023 academic year. You can make a difference in a young person's life!