San Francisco, Calif.—August 1, 2017—CollegeSpring, a national nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to closing the college opportunity gap for students from low-income backgrounds since its founding in 2008, today announced that Dr. Yoon S. Choi—a seasoned nonprofit leader and committed advocate for urban youth—will become its next Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Choi will succeed CollegeSpring’s founding CEO Garrett Neiman and will be based out of CollegeSpring’s headquarters in Oakland, California starting in September. Neiman will continue to serve on CollegeSpring’s board of directors.
Dr. Choi brings over a decade of leadership, management, and fundraising experience. She joins CollegeSpring from Spark, a national nonprofit Career Exploration and Self-Discovery Program for middle school students. At Spark, she grew Los Angeles into its strongest fundraising and programmatic region as Executive Director, was promoted to oversee all of California, became the organization’s Chief Strategy Officer, and, finally, served as interim President of the national organization. Previously, Dr. Choi worked at Para Los Niños–a nonprofit providing education, health, and youth workforce / development services to Los Angeles’ underserved communities—and for other organizations in the nonprofit and private sectors. She earned her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of California at Irvine, as well as a master’s degree in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Scripps College.
“Yoon comes to CollegeSpring at the end of an exciting academic year that saw the organization successfully serve over 4,300 students nationwide—the most in its history,” said Thomas J. Friel, Chair of CollegeSpring’s Board. “We are excited to enter this new era under her leadership. Her experience driving programmatic expansion, establishing strong partnerships, and raising awareness about the potential of urban youth will make her an outstanding advocate for our students and mission.”
Despite their incredible potential to succeed in college, students from low-income backgrounds face serious inequities on their road to a degree. Test preparation, college knowledge, and financial aid resources can be uniquely difficult for these students to access. As a result, fewer than one in ten students from low-income backgrounds earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 24. To date, CollegeSpring’s has helped over 19,000 students across the country overcome these inequities, helping students raise their SAT score by an average of 103 points and increase their chance at college matriculation by nearly 50 percent.
“CollegeSpring’s programs fill a critical resource gap for college-bound students from low-income backgrounds. The organization’s efficient, scalable model has what it takes to help thousands more students demonstrate their incredible potential,” Dr. Choi said. “I am honored to serve those students as CollegeSpring’s CEO, and to lead the organization during such an exciting time in its journey.”
CollegeSpring is a national non-profit organization that equips low-income students with the academic skills and mentoring they need to close the SAT, ACT, and college opportunity gaps. Since 2008, CollegeSpring served more than 19,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and New York, helping them achieve increased test scores, acceptances into better-matched, more-selective colleges, higher persistence rates and greater opportunities for future success.
For more information, visit www.collegespring.org.