Dr. Nyeisha Dewitt is the Founder and CEO of
Oakland Natives Give Back, Inc. (ONGB).
Her passion for education and better choices in communities stems from her own background. Nyeisha struggled in high school, dropping out before the end of the tenth grade. Some traumatic life experiences and the birth of her first child propelled her to make new choices about her own life in general, and education specifically. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her master’s degree from the University of San Francisco, she went on to achieve her doctoral degree in Organization and Leadership. When her mother passed away, Nyeisha was compelled to return to the very community she had grown up in to give back to the city her mother loved- she moved back home to Oakland.
In 2008, she co-founded Oakland Natives Give Back and set out to exemplify an evolved concept of philanthropy. As a woman of color in the philanthropic space, she felt very strongly about being a role model and encouraging others to give back and improve the lives of young people in their communities. She began the mission by working with the city to provide 900 backpacks and school supplies to local children. After support for the effort waned, she self-funded her organization’s flagship event, the Attend & Achieve Back-to-School Rally (B2SR), for many years because she wanted the community to feel her consistent love and support. Since inception, ONGB has given over 20,000 backpacks and school supply kits to children all around the world and delivered more than $1.5M in cash grants and resources to Oakland and beyond.
Through her personal experiences, education, volunteer work and career, she began to uncover the greatest crack in the foundation of a child’s success, chronic absenteeism.
As a high school dropout, a parent and an educator, Nyeisha combats issues around chronic absenteeism in a way very few people have the experience to comprehend. For over a decade, she has used out-of-the-box thinking to address the chronic absenteeism crisis. Her unique background and personal journey has given her the ability to see chronic absenteeism from a multitude of perspectives: as an educator, a mother, a drop-out and a philanthropist. She perseveres in her efforts to be a reliable and consistent resource that the community has grown to count on.
see chronic absenteeism from a multitude of perspectives: as an educator, a mother, a drop-out and as a philanthropist. She perseveres in her efforts to be a reliable and consistent resource that the community has grown to count on.
Dr. DeWitt is a national expert on how communities overcome chronic absenteeism and she is a philanthropist and cornerstone of Oakland’s culture.
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