January 29 2023

Achieve career and college readiness team expands leadership capacity

Seven career and college readiness leaders at Achieve pose together at a park

With the growth of our career and college readiness (CCR) services in Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) – and the addition of new staff for Minneapolis Public Schools’ (MPS) online and contract alternative schools over the past year – we’ve significantly increased our leadership capacity to ground and strengthen this work. 

Led by Kendra Engels, Achieve’s Senior Director of School-based Programs, and Caitlyn Cole, Director of Career and College Readiness Team, five talented new managers are leading CCR program strategy, staff support and mentoring, and district alignment and relationship-building.

These CCR managers include: 

Lisa Beckham, SPPS Career and College Readiness Program Manager. Lisa is a former enrollment advisor at the University of Minnesota, where she connected students with professional development opportunities. She also served as a College Possible senior program coordinator, supervising AmeriCorps members, managing ACT prep for 11th graders and piloting several program initiatives. Lisa brings a deep knowledge of college and career pathways and is passionate about addressing economic and racial inequities in education. She earned her M.B.A. from Augsburg University with a focus on entrepreneurship.

Zoey Haines, SPPS Program Strategy Manager. Zoey was our very first coordinator at Central High School, where she built a thriving program and supported several district initiatives, including Xello usage and a work-based learning partnership. Zoey also served as Achieve’s lead coordinator for SPPS, building strong relationships in the district and providing critical input on program and organizational decisions. Prior to her work at Achieve she spent several years in admissions at St. Olaf College and the University of Massachusetts. She holds an Ed.M. from Boston University in educational leadership and policy studies.

Amanda Justen, MPS Program Strategy Manager. Amanda served as co-coordinator of our Roosevelt High School Career & College Center for six years, where she helped develop holistic and robust career exposure programming designed to increase student access to a wider range of postsecondary and career opportunities. This approach is now integrated into all of our school-based services.  Amanda also led the design and expansion of our career and college readiness services in MPS contract alternative schools. She earned her M.S.W. from the University of Washington.

Yolanda Martinez-Pineda, MPS Career and College Readiness Program Manager. Yolanda began her work at Achieve last year as our Career & College Center coordinator at Longfellow Alternative High school, where she quickly established strong relationships with students and staff, led new programming and established clear systems. Prior to Achieve she served at El Colegio High School, where she was a youth and community engagement coordinator, case coordinator, academic counselor and licensed school counselor. Yolanda has also held leadership positions at Hennepin Technical College in recruitment and admissions. She earned her master’s degree in professional school counseling from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Andrew Peterson, MPS Career and College Readiness Program Manager. Andrew spent six years as a co-coordinator at our Edison High School Career & College Center, where he worked to create and pilot new career-focused programming, established norms and wrap-around postsecondary support for EL and SPED students, and managed multiple external partnerships from large companies to small organizations. Andrew came to Achieve in 2012 as an AmeriCorps VISTA and has also served as a Step Up Program Associate and a member of the former community engagement team. He’s currently a graduate student at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Learn more about our career and college readiness services in SPPS and MPS high schools.