Emily McCann

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Emily McCann
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Location: Boston, MA
Founded: 1995
Industry: Nonprofit

Emily McCann

Citizen Schools

Emily McCann, CEO of Citizen Schools, has four children, and with one in middle school, she knows exactly why her nonprofit organization does what it does. The organization partners with low-income, low-performing middle schools to provide an expanded day for all students. Citizen Schools mobilizes a “second shift” of afternoon educators who provide academic support, leadership development and apprenticeships, with the goal of leading more kids to the path of achieving high school diplomas, college educations and careers.

Quick Tip: “The greatest leaders I have met are people who inspire hope in others.”

Through Citizen Schools programming, the opportunity gap between low-income and affluent students is on its way to closing, says McCann. Students participating in the programming receive an additional three months of learning in math each year and are twice as likely to attend a college-track high school. Additionally, 71 percent graduate high school, as compared to 59 percent, and 61 percent enroll in college, as compared to 41 percent.

McCann says she learned the value of getting involved in her community and in education through transformative volunteer experiences with the I Have a Dream program and Junior Achievement. That’s why, in addition to her work with Citizen Schools, McCann sits on the national board of Teach Plus, an education innovation organization, and Good Sports, which gives low-income students access to sports apparel and equipment.