About
Advisory board

Advisory Board

Our advisors consist of esteemed leaders across education and entrepreneurial spaces. Some of them are also current investors in our company. All are committed to supporting our team to succeed in our mission to empower our partners to impact students and communities. We are honored to have their championship and support.
Scott Morgan
Head of Employer Partnership – Springboard
Scott Morgan is the Founder of Education Pioneers & former CEO, based out of the Oakland office, where he led the organization to realize its vision to identify, train, connect, and inspire 10,000 diverse leaders and managers working to accelerate systemic change across the education sector by EP’s 20th anniversary in 2023.
Carmita Semaan
FOUNDER + PRESIDENT – SURGE INSTITUTE
Carmita Semaan is Founder and President of The Surge Institute. Surge, as it is affectionately called, was established to broadly address issues of race and class in urban education through leadership development, technical assistance and advocacy. The Surge Fellowship, the Institute’s signature program, is transforming education by identifying and grooming emerging education leaders of color.
Amanda Fernandez
FOUNDER + CEO – LATINOS FOR EDUCATION
Amanda has 25 years of experience in the areas of recruiting, diversity, organization development, change management, strategic planning and Latino community relations. She has recently founded Latinos for Education, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop, place and connect essential Latino leadership in the education sector.
Kerrien Suarez
DIRECTOR - EQUITY IN THE CENTER
Kerrien is the Executive Director of Equity in the Center, which seeks to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase equity in the social sector.

As a former independent consultant, Kerrien facilitates leadership teams in bold decision making to solve strategic and operational challenges. She has expertise in leading senior executives and managers through strategic planning, business case analysis, and change management initiatives.

Rita Raichoudhuri, Ed.D.
SUPERINTENDENT - KALAMAZOO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Rita Raichoudhuri is the former Executive Director of Early College in
Chicago Public Schools and currently Superintendent of Kalamazoo Public
Schools. As an educational leader, she strives to provide students with a
well-rounded education with attention to rigorous academics,
social-emotional learning and robust opportunities for post-secondary
success.
Lauren Albani, Ed.D.
PRINCIPAL - LASALLE II MAGNET SCHOOL
Lauren Albani is the current principal at LaSalle II Magnet School. The mission at LaSalle II is to not only provide the highest quality of programs across the core subject areas, but to also educate students about other cultures and to teach them to communicate in critical languages spoken around the world.
Chris McGowan
MANAGING DIRECTOR - CJM VENTURES, LLC /
OPTO HOLDINGS, L.P.
Chris McGowan is the General Partner of CJM Ventures (“CJMV”), a Chicago private-equity investment firm.

McGowan’s private equity career began 25 years ago with AEA Investors in New York City, after earning an undergraduate degree in theoretical mathematics from Columbia University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and following two years of mergers and acquisitions training at Morgan Stanley.

Andrea Sáenz
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER - THE CHICAGO
COMMUNITY TRUST
Andrea Sáenz serves as The Chicago Community Trust’s first Chief Operating Officer. Previously, she was First Deputy Commissioner & Chief Strategy Officer for Chicago Public Library, a system of 80 neighborhood branches. In this role, she led strategy, program design, evaluation, innovation and organizational development.
Jason Jacobsohn
Founder - Propellant Ventures
For 20+ years, Jason has been an advocate for entrepreneurs by connecting them to growth resources such as investors, advisors, and strategic partners. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Propellant Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund that boldly invests in Midwest-based companies powering the future in B2B industries including healthtech, fintech, edtech, supply chain, and future of work.