KIPP Alumni Participate in Leadership Accelerator

New York, NY – April 12, 2017 – Fourteen graduates of KIPP schools have been selected to participate in KIPP’s national Alumni Leadership Accelerator, a program which aims to equip KIPP alumni for top leadership roles in their chosen fields.

The KIPP Alumni Leadership Accelerator is a nine-month, early-career fellowship for college graduates who completed middle or high school at a KIPP school. The 14 fellows in the 2016 cohort attended KIPP schools in Baltimore, North Carolina, Houston, Memphis, New Jersey, and New York. All are people of color from under-resourced communities who were chosen for their track record of demonstrated leadership, resilience, ambition, and drive.

“We’re working to create pathways for our top alumni to accelerate their career trajectory,” said Stephen Cockrell, KIPP’s national Director of External Impact, who oversees the program. “We want our fellows to ascend to the highest levels of leadership so that they can have an outsized impact on the world.”

The fourteen members of the inaugural cohort represent a variety of leadership pathways and fields:


Stanley Aladi KIPP NYC Medical Student at Howard University College of Medicine
Derrick Bennett KIPP Eastern North Carolina Financial Bank Examiner at North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks
Victoria Bennett KIPP Eastern North Carolina Legal Communication Specialist at North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services
Lorenzo Castillo KIPP Houston Co-Founder of Education Everytime, Entrepreneur in Residence at PowerMoves, and Coach for Teach For America
Roquel Crutcher KIPP Memphis Government Affairs and Policy Associate at the KIPP Foundation
Bianca Hand KIPP Baltimore Gallery Teaching Assistant at The Walters Art Museum and Development Associate at Handel Choir of Baltimore
Emeka Kanu KIPP NYC Strategy and Operations Consultant at Deloitte
Erwing Jimenez KIPP Houston Superintendent/Project Engineer at Linbeck Group LLC
Rocio Mendoza KIPP Houston Oil and Gas Associate at Baker & McKenzie LLP
A’Dorian Murray-Thomas KIPP New Jersey Founder and Executive Director at SHE Wins INC.
George Ramirez KIPP NYC University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education Penn Fellow at The Loomis Chaffee School
Vanessa Ramirez KIPP Houston Chief Operating Officer at SER-Jobs for Progress and Founder of Eight Million Stories
Jerelyn Rodriguez KIPP NYC Founder and Chief Executive Officer at The Knowledge House
Octavio Sandoval KIPP NYC MBA Student at MIT Sloan School of Management


“All of these alumni are exceptional young leaders, and we are so excited that they have the chance to further build their leadership skills and grow their networks through this program,” said Jane Martinez Dowling, KIPP NYC’s Executive Director of KIPP Through College. “The tools and connections provided by the Alumni Leadership Accelerator will allow them to expand their impact on our community and to open doors for those who follow in their footsteps.”

The KIPP Alumni Leadership Accelerator aims to address the leadership opportunity gap that KIPP alumni face when they enter the workforce, particularly those in careers where people of color and first generation college graduates are underrepresented in leadership. Each fellow receives 12-15 hours of personalized, one-on-one executive leadership coaching, as well as ongoing networking and mentorship opportunities and peer support.

A recent survey of KIPP alumni in college found that many students struggle to obtain career-relevant work experience. This puts them at a disadvantage when entering the working world. In addition to the KIPP Alumni Leadership Accelerator, KIPP has partnered with Accenture and other organizations to help connect KIPP students and alumni with the work experience they need to thrive in their careers.

“Our alumni are poised to change the world, and we need to make sure they have the opportunities and support systems to do so,” said KIPP CEO Richard Barth. “With the support of the Alumni Accelerator, they are ready to lead the way in building a better tomorrow.”

About KIPP

KIPP is a non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. There are 200 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia educating nearly 80,000 students on their path to and through college, careers, and life. KIPP believes that great teachers and school leaders, a supportive learning environment, and an emphasis on both academics and character are the foundation for student success. KIPP students complete college at a rate that is above the national average for all students and four times higher than that of students from similar economic backgrounds. To learn more about KIPP, visit


Lindsay Kelly

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