Elevate Math Spotlight with Lisa Andrew, CEO of SVEF

By: HFSV September 27, 2021

Elevate Math Spotlight with Lisa Andrew, CEO of SVEF

The Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley (HFSV) and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) are long time partners providing math programs to the East San Jose and Redwood City communities.

SVEF’s Elevate Math and Elevate Math+ are two such programs, designed to increase student achievement in math. This year alone, HFSV has provided over 300 students the opportunity to participate in Elevate Math classes.

When the shelter-in-place order went into effect, Lisa Andrew, Chief Executive Officer of SVEF, and her team jumped into action. “Our organization was able to pivot immediately to offer programs online.” Within a week, Lisa and SVEF were able to understand the student’s needs better. The staff felt a sense of urgency and purpose, bringing together students, parents, and educators to maintain high-quality education.

How has the COVID19 pandemic changed how you work? How have you led your team as a leader of your organization during these times?

We needed to offer all our programming online. We needed to add to our offering based on the needs of the students. How do we get stuff at home for our students? The staff just got it, and we kept going. Because of our quick pivot, donors followed.

As a CEO of a nonprofit organization, what insight and guidance do you provide to other nonprofit leaders in the community?

I think an organization should examine their mission in light of the current condition. Our mission is to deliver and advocate for STEM. How are we going to deliver while students are at home? We went back to our mission and looked at the guidelines. It’s not “if” we’re going to deliver the mission. Its, we are delivering, and how are we going to do it!

How has being the first in your family to earn a college degree influenced your professional journey?

When I was at Silver Creek HS, no one ever talked to me about college because I didn’t have the grades or was “that” student. They sent me to the Silicon Valley Career Technical Education, and I went into the nursing assistant program. While I was there, I thought, I want to be the nurse! Why couldn’t I be the one in charge?

Now, I encourage students to think bigger!

SVEF is providing opportunities to our students. We want to ensure that we help our students. I don’t want people to have the same experience I went through. We have to be very intentional about how we grow and the rate we grow. I want to grow intentionally and purposefully.

How do you recharge during covid?

I recharge by walking my German Shepherd Puppy. Taking trips to the beach with our puppy and still be very social with friends and family online.

As Lisa Andrew and her team continue to navigate through COVID-19 we are reminded that our collaboration is needed now more than ever. With the combined resources, we are able to stay the course and continue inspiring community philanthropy and engaging people to invest in educational excellence, leadership development, and convening and engaging the Hispanic community to improve the quality of life for Latinos and the Silicon Valley region.

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