President & CEO
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Veronica Melvin joined LA's Promise as its CEO/President in November, 2011. Passion, activism, empowerment and learning are four key qualities that are present throughout Veronica Melvin's dedicated work in the fields of education and health for children and families. These attributes, that have defined her life and career, are the reason why she received a Presidential appointment to a White House commission on educational excellence.
As President and Chief Executive Officer of LA's Promise, Ms. Melvin guides a dedicated, reform–minded education organization with a mission to provide quality educational experiences mated to an array of integrated support services, including health care and fitness opportunities for students in public schools.
Ms. Melvin's personal belief in the importance of education - in shaping young minds, preparing our youth to enter college, enabling young people to compete in our complex world and make valued contributions to our communities as future adults –,is a fitting overlay to the mission of LA's Promise. Ms. Melvin has devoted her professional life to the pursuit of excellence in education and learning for students. She has also made youth access to health services and being empowered to make healthy living healthy choices one of her top priorities.
Known for her organizational leadership and unwavering passion to uplift and empower communities, Veronica Melvin is a champion of children and families.
Ms. Melvin envisions building a kindergarten to college pathway for our students and constructing a career pipeline laid upon a foundation of access to excellent academic, health, and enrichment opportunities for LA's Promise youth in South Los Angeles.
Ms. Melvin has a solid track record of building effective coalitions comprising educators, students, parents, and community stakeholders who make a firm commitment to work collaboratively to constantly improve teaching and learning in public school settings.
Ms. Melvin served as Chief Operating Officer of Communities for Teaching Excellence, a national effort that empowers communities to advocate for effective teaching and academic achievement for students. Her bold executive management achieved success for students and teachers in classrooms in Memphis, TN, Pittsburgh, PA, Hillsborough County, FL, and Los Angeles, CA.
Throughout her professional career, Ms. Melvin has pursued equity in education for all students and communities. She has been driven by a long held desire to improve the quality of lives for families in underserved communities.
Ms. Melvin served as Executive Director of Alliance for a Better Community (ABC), an organization working to ensure equity in education, health, economic development and civic participation for Latinos and overall improvement for residents of the Greater Los Angeles. In her management role, Ms. Melvin has also been instrumental in launching community–based campaigns to advance issues crucial to student academic achievement and success.
Ms. Melvin fought to attain college preparatory curriculum for every Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high school student. In addition, she worked to provide greater access to quality preschools for L.A.'s youngest students. Ms. Melvin was on the front lines of the community–based drive to ban high–calorie junk food and beverages in L.A. schools.
To address and alleviate major student overcrowding in L.A. public schools, Ms. Melvin doggedly pursued construction of new L.A. public schools, such as Belmont Learning Center and the Robert F. Kennedy School complex. Ms. Melvin has promoted healthy communities through her proposals and programs for greater joint–use open space and park development that led to the construction of the Vista Hermosa Park and a joint–use soccer field at the Roybal Learning Center.
Ms. Melvin developed LAUSD 'Pilot Schools' – a network of small autonomous, career–themed schools that promote student and parent choice. She also championed the LAUSD Public School Choice Initiative that allows new and low–performing schools to be operated by external education organizations and chosen teams of teachers.
Ms. Melvin began her career as Community and Government Relations Coordinator for the San Diego Workforce Partnership, a nonprofit organization supporting local job training programs that enable eligible adults to develop the job–ready skills and knowledge needed for emerging career opportunities and employment.
President Barack Obama appointed Ms. Melvin to the President's Commission on the Educational Excellence of Hispanics. Ms. Melvin also serves on Univision's Es El Momento national advisory commission.
Ms. Melvin earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Economies of Industrial Societies from UC Berkeley. She earned her Masters of Public Policy from UCLA's School of Public Affairs.
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