Lakisha Young


The Oakland REACH

Lakisha Young is 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.During the pandemic, Lakisha pioneered the REACH’s most innovative work to date: The Virtual Family Hub, a one-stop shop supporting families’ economic survival and their children’s educational success. Inspired by the Hub, the REACH is adopting The Liberator Model as a framework for strengthening academic achievement and socio-economic well-being. Moving forward, Lakisha is grounding all work in a deep belief that there is nothing more powerful than having a life of your own design. Lakisha regularly consults other cities across the country interested in exploring parent advocacy, serves as a Senior Fellow at The Center on Reinventing Public Education and is a regular contributor to their “People in Action” series.