The Foundation’s board is currently comprised of:
Veronica Melvin, President & CEO of LA Promise Fund
Dr. Mikala L. Rahn, CEO/Founder Public Works / Learning Works
Vicki Vaughn, U.S. Patent Agent, JD, MBA, BSE
Michael Katz, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Secondary Education (Emeritus), San Jose State University
Susan B. Lee, MA Education, BA Sociology
Veronica Melvin has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of LA Promise Fund since 2011 where she leads countywide efforts to raise private funds to better LA public schools while simultaneously managing a network of schools in South LA.
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 Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Dr. Mikala L. Rahn
Dr. Mikala Rahn has always held strongly to the belief that education is necessary to break the cycles of poverty and self-doubt. Focused on education opportunities for disenfranchised populations, Dr. Rahn founded Learning Works Charter School in 2008. The school focuses on the needs of students not in the mainstream educational system—high dropouts, probation youth and pregnant and parenting teens. Using a core set of principles and unique tools developed, Learning Works has succeeded in stemming the tide of dropouts like few others have. The school was a satellite location in Boyle Heights where we are the school at Homeboy Industries.
Dr. Rahn is also the CEO of Public Works, an education research firm focused on preK-12 education, with extensive experience in the areas of school reform, curriculum and assessment, teacher retention, after-school programs, school-to-work transition and parent involvement. She is also the founder of Community Works, which turns research into practice by supporting teachers, parents and students by providing training, classes and hands-on assistance. The “works” keep coming with artWORKS, GroWorks, and Hope Works. Dr. Rahn served on the Pasadena Unified School Board 2013-2015.
Dr. Rahn has her PhD in educational policy, MA in political science and MA in education administration from University of California at Berkeley, and a BA in human development communications from University of California, San Diego.
Vicki Vaughn has always believed that a good education is the way to a better life for yourself, your family, and your community. That education is made even more powerful when it is based in a field that is always in high demand – STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) helping graduates to find employment that will support their family. Vicki and Gloria Lee both graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering where they became lifelong friends. Just before Gloria passed, Vicki was honored to be asked to join the board to help see Gloria’s vision realized – that students who work together do much better in school. The program is designed to encourage students to continue their studies and to work hard by having fellow students to study with who face the same challenges.
Over the years, Vicki has earned two additional degrees – an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from the Abraham Lincoln Law School in Los Angeles. She has also become a U.S. Patent Agent to help others patent their technology inventions.
Dr. Michael Katz has taught in a university setting since 1974 and at San Jose State since 1986. Dr. Katz, retired in May of 2009, from the field of Philosophy of Education, where he was a Past President of the North American Philosophy of Education Society. Dr. Katz’s recent research focused on ethical issues in teacher-student-relations (e.g., caring, fairness, respect for persons, trustworthiness) and has integrated novels and films into his teaching. Dr. Katz has published over forty academic articles and was the primary editor of two books: Justice and Caring: The Search for Common Ground in Education (Teachers College Press, 1999) and Education, Democracy, and The Moral Life (Springer, 2009).
Dr. Katz holds a Ph.D. from Stanford in Philosophy of Education, a M.A., English Education, Masters work and a B.A. from Amherst College with honors, in English.
Susan B. Lee
Susan Lee, in addition to being Gloria’s sister, serves as an advisor for the Gloria B. Lee Foundation. Susan spent half of her professional life as a marketing professional, specializing in helping companies identify drivers of growth and profitability, defining a sustainable, own-able unique selling proposition, designing marketing programs which capitalize on these, and identifying unmet needs to guide product and service development for banks, consumer package goods companies, private colleges and universities, e-commerce companies and human services organizations.
The second half of her professional life lead her back to her first love: Helping people find meaning and fulfillment in their life. As a Certified Career Coach, using many of the same strategies she used to help corporations, Susan has worked with executives, middle manager, young professionals, college graduates and people with disabilities find their place in the work world that utilizes their passions and abilities to maximize their potential. Susan holds an MA in Education from Fordham University, a BA in Sociology from the University of Michigan and is certified by the Institute of Executive Coaching in Career Coaching