Executive Director of Community SChools & Youth Development
Khalina Houston serves as the Community Schools and Youth Development Executive Director at Educational Alliance, where in partnership with her team, principals, families and a host of dedicated stakeholders, they all work to provide comprehensive services and resources to students, families and staff. This role aligns with her personal mission, which is be of service to others; a belief founded in her organizing work.
As a community organizer for the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, Khalina utilized relationships and resources to address needs identified by the constituents she served. Residents overwhelmingly expressed a desire for schools and community centers to be funded and revitalized. Partnership made these things possible. Impressed by the activism and volunteerism of the children who benefited from these centers, Khalina became deeply committed to working to improve educational outcomes for students. As a recipient of the Mellon Mays PhD fellowship, Khalina centered her studies and work on equity in education systems.
As a graduate student, she was part of a team that researched and developed solutions to the sixty-five year old enigma around sustainably funding Universal Pre-K (UPK). Brought on to work on the UPK initiative for the New York City Department of Education (DOE), Khalina developed policy, and implemented the rollout and evaluation of UPK programs throughout the city. Promoted to Chief of Staff for South Queens in DOE, she developed policy, supported superintendents and principals, led an internal team of six directors and ninety-six staff to aid and provide resources to more than one hundred and fifty schools, grades K-12, under her purview. One of the major highlights in this role for Khalina, was working with her team to draft and be awarded the $1.25 million dollar “My Brother’s Keeper” grant in partnership with Queens College, CUNY, to provide undergraduate and graduate scholarships for 40 Black and Brown male high school seniors to become educators within the NYC Department of Education. These students were hired as assistant teachers in DOE schools immediately after graduating high school and received training from senior educators to ensure they completed the program as master teachers. Initiatives like these impacted the lives of students in positive and lasting ways and is what drove Khalina to join Educational Alliance, where the focus is on improving the lives of those they serve.
Khalina lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she is constantly flooded by the love of her nieces and nephew, the rest of her huge family, friends, super cool dog and beyond bossy cat.