Upward Scholars announces new Executive Director

Upward Scholars has announced that Dr. Linda Prieto will be the organization's new executive director starting Monday, October 22nd. Founder Elizabeth Weal will continue to play an active role in Upward Scholars, serving as an advisor and a member of the Upward Scholars Board.

Upward Scholars executive director Linda Prieto

Upward Scholars executive director Linda Prieto

"Linda has the passion, dedication, knowledge, and commitment to make her an exemplary leader in every way," Elizabeth says. "I cannot be more pleased that she has decided to take on this critical role."

Linda's parents are immigrants to this country, and like many of the Upward Scholars students we serve, arrived in the U.S. not speaking English, without the opportunity for a formal education and thus, worked menial jobs. Linda and her siblings grew up working in the California agricultural fields of the Central San Joaquin Valley alongside their parents. The firsthand experience of this grueling work, and her parents' encouragement that she do her best in school, afforded her opportunities beyond her wildest dreams. Linda and her siblings were the first in their family to graduate from middle school and high school. Linda then went on to graduate from Stanford with a bachelor's degree in Sociology, from Harvard with a master's degree in Education and from The University of Texas at Austin with a doctorate in Education.

"I am a living example of what individuals connected to nonprofits, like Upward Scholars, can achieve," Linda says. "I am thrilled to be a part of this vibrant organization."

Tania Ventura