While Oakland has emerged in recent years as a beacon of innovation and entrepreneurship, there are more children in the city living in poverty today than during the last recession.
Disparities in wealth and access to higher education hits students of color especially hard. In fact, Oakland’s achievement gap grew 11% between 2011 and 2013, at a faster rate than 80% of major U.S. cities.
Since opening in 2002, College Track Oakland has been committed to ensuring students can connect their talent, intellectual curiosity, and work ethic to the opportunities that come from completing a four-year college education. Today, we celebrate more than 400 students on the path to upward social mobility.
A View Inside…
Steps from Jack London Square and the Oakland waterfront stands our three-story center, the second to open after College Track’s founding. Over the years, our students have added their own mark to the center to make it their own, most recently by painting a 20 foot mural with the words “United Together” across the bottom. This artwork not only represents the pride our students feel for Oakland, but also the value of young people from different backgrounds, neighborhoods, and high schools coming together under one roof to put in the hard work it takes to reach their college and career goals.
What Our Students Have Achieved
students currently enrolled
identify as students of color
matriculate to a two- or four-year college
Scholar Spotlight: Karsten, Oakland Technical High School
The beginning of high school was difficult for me. I actually had a teacher who didn’t seem to care much about me or my classmates. She had an unpleasant attitude and would sometimes lose our homework! Feeling so overlooked really harmed my grades. One day, my African American Male Achievement (AMA) teacher came to me and said “hey I know you really wanna go to college and I know you can.” He told me about College Track and even wrote me a recommendation letter.
College Track was so different than what I had imagined. I was picturing something super strict and formal, but I was immediately comfortable there. I was finally given the attention and confidence to do really great work. The staff is just so amazing, I call them “The A Team.” I connect with them as people on such a deep level, and I always know that if I come to them with a problem that I’ll get thoughtful and mature advice. I’ve never really had that before.
Right now I’m thinking I’ll go to college in the South or on the East Coast. I’m considering majoring in either contract law or political science, not sure which yet. My family just wants me to follow my dreams. So do I.
We are lucky to partner with some of the Bay Area most prestigious businesses, foundations, corporations, and educational institutions, who share our desire to see Oakland students succeed in college and thrive in our modern workforce.
Bay Area Young Professionals Board
Animesh Agrawal Financial Data Analyst, Lyft
Vandana Bhairi Account Manager, Bloomberg LP
Alexandra "Lexi" Burbey Investment Banking Analyst, DBO Partners
Michelle Chan Audit Senior, Deloitte
Jake Cheng Strategic Finance, Algolia
Jenesh Dobie Senior Operations Coordinator, Cardinal Education
Tevah El Emmet Content Strategist, Facebook
Laura Falkner Clinical Development Engineer, Intuitive Surgical
Kerwin Ferrette Corporate Partnerships Sales Associate, Oakland Athletics
Easar Forghany (Co-Chair) Financial Analyst, Google
Amanda Fuji Customer Experience Supervisor, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Paola Garcia Abbo Investment Management Associate, Goldman Sachs
Lucy Liu Strategic Partnerships, Google
Sida Lu Eater Growth, UberEats
Andy Mitchell Wealth Management Professional, Goldman Sachs
David Nguyen Head of Solutions, Cognito
Shreya Tanna (Co-Chair) Customer Operations Lead, Udemy
Lisa Truong Product Manager, Deliv