Shaun-Teka Joyner, Executive Director
Shaun-Teka Joyner is a double graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in non-profit management. A native of Los Angeles and a product of the Inglewood and Los Angeles Unified School Districts, she has over 10 years of experience with “at-promise” youth and collegiate preparatory programs.
Shaun's commitment to educational success in urban communities began at an early age while serving as an Jr. Education Career Advisor and Head Residential Assistant for the Upward Bound Program, a federally funded organization which provides fundamental support to “at-risk” youth in their preparation for college entrance.
Shaun-Teka is the former Director of Connecting Communities to UCLA (CCU), a multi-faceted program established in 2007 to connect community groups, faith based organizations, and local schools to UCLA by facilitating college access and matriculation amongst under-served youth.
Additionally, for the past 4 years she has worked as an Undergraduate Admissions Reader for UCLA, analyzing the qualifications of prospective college students by assessing their academic and personal achievements and submitting recommendations.
After leaving UCLA in 2009, Shaun-Teka was inspired to start A Dream Deferred an organization that would allow her to continue to combine two of her passions, education and youth, into a unique and inspiring experience for middle and high school students who aspire to go to college. The mission of the organization was to assist students in underserved areas overcome obstacles and empower them to view education, their circumstances, success’ and failure’s in a new light.
Shaun-Teka is currently the Executive Director for the Perlman Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering those individuals who have shown a desire to better their lives and have a proven history of working to improve their standard of living. She now uses her wealth of insider’s knowledge to create programs that give youth tools that enable them to manage relationships within themselves, as well as their families, peers and communities.
In addition to her professional experiences, Shaun-Teka currently serves as the Higher Education Chair on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Cares Mentoring Movement (LACMM), a non-profit mentoring organization founded by Susan Taylor, former Editor and Chief of Essence Magazine. She is also finishing her first book entitled “The Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education.”
Her dedication toward ensuring the success of youth in urban communities is infused into everything she does. Shaun-Teka will continue to work to ensure that all students are given the equal opportunity to excel in college and beyond.