Dear Oakland Promise community,
In January 2016, Oakland community members joined together to launch the Oakland Promise, a cradle-to-career initiative with the vision to ensure that all Oakland children graduate from high school with the skills, expectations, and resources to complete college and succeed in the career of their choice. On that day, we made the commitment to every child in Oakland that we, as a community, believe in them and support their limitless potential.
Today marks another important step in that journey.
I am thrilled to announce that Oakland Promise and East Bay College Fund will merge into one unified organization named Oakland Promise, holistically serving children and families of Oakland from birth through career under one unified governing board of directors, listed here.
Oakland Promise and East Bay College Fund began this journey together in 2016 and have collectively supported over 1,000 students with $8M in scholarships paired with mentoring, advising, and career development. And it is having impact: the most recent data shows that, Oakland Promise & East Bay College Fund have seen 93% of Oakland Promise’s initial college cohort persist through their first year in college.
We believe this merger will provide a remarkable opportunity to build stronger, seamless transitions along the cradle to career continuum, creating even more power to transform outcomes for Oakland students and families.
No movement can sustain and grow without strong leadership and I am thrilled to announce that Mialisa Bonta, long-time Oakland and child advocate, has been selected by the Board of Directors as the Chief Executive Officer to lead the unified organization into its next phase of sustainability, growth, and impact.
You, along with all Oakland Promise supporters, have played an instrumental role in creating real opportunity for Oakland’s children and families. Our mission remains the same and our commitment to getting students to and through college has only strengthened.
We look forward to continuing to partner with each of you to fulfill Oakland’s promise.
Dr. Michael McAfee
President, Board of Directors
Mialisa Bonta is thrilled to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer of Oakland Promise. She brings with her over 20 years of education and youth development experience in the non-profit sector. Throughout her extensive career, she has successfully supported collective impact strategies and has been able to participate in the successful results that come from aligning organizations and community around a common cause. She has led large teams in long-established organizations and most recently fully adopted the entrepreneur mindset with the founding of LitLab, adding to her experience building a successful endeavor from scratch. She has driven major growth for organizations, and supported staff through the change and transition that comes with growing organizations. She is a fierce advocate for creating equitable educational opportunity for all children. And, as a politician and an educator, most recently elected to school board, she knows what it takes to mount a successful campaign that engages a whole community around a broader vision.