Square Pizza Podcast

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The Square Pizza podcast focuses on the intersection of education, innovation, and diversity. We host and interview leaders doing incredible work around the country to ensure all students have access to an equitable education. The Square Pizza podcast is hosted by SchermCo, a social-impact implementation firm that offers strategic implementation and project management services to schools and education-focused organizations across the country.

Welcome back to another episode of the #squarepizzapod. This week, Greg is in conversation with Lakisha Young, Founder & CEO, The Oakland REACH.

Who is Lakisha Young?

Lakisha Young is the Founder & CEO of The Oakland REACH, a parent-run organization founded in 2016. She knows from her own story that winning in education is par for the course when you already have what you need to win in life — and because of that, everything the REACH does must be about ensuring every family has what they need to win in life.

Lakisha developed a formula that has guided the REACH’s work since day one: Ask families questions. Listen to their aspirations. Build the solutions. This formula has produced a mix of groundbreaking programming and advocacy work over the last 6 years, including The Opportunity Ticket, which gives the most vulnerable students higher preference for enrolling in quality schools, and the Literacy for All campaign.

What is The Oakland REACH? 

  • The Oakland REACH is a parent-run, parent-led organization. Our parents know what it’s like to be overlooked, mistreated, and miseducated by the school system. We are committed to changing that for future generations. We empower families from our most underserved communities to demand high-quality schools for their children.

In this episode: 

  • Background
    • Why “education is destined to be [her] journey”
  • The Oakland REACH
  • Family Advocacy Fellowship / The Hub / Opportunity Ticket (2019)
  • Paid family tutors + graduation
    • Focus on implementation
  • Relationship with local district and charters
  • What does the future look like for Oakland Reach