Mia Arakaki

Director of Programs

Mia has dedicated the past decade to expand opportunities for young people from marginalized sectors of society as an educator, coach, school leader and innovator. Born and raised in Berkeley, CA, Mia earned her BA from Yale prior to moving to New Orleans in the same year that Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. Mia ended up teaching Kindergarten in Houston and returned to New Orleans the following year to teach middle school math. Mia later served as Program Director and School Director with Teach For America, as well as the Dean of Curriculum & Instruction at a K-4 KIPP school. During this time Mia earned her MA in Public School Building Leadership at Columbia’s Teachers’ College.

Mia’s experiences have demonstrated to her the essential nature of social-emotional development for our youth. When she returned to the Bay Area in 2014, Mia shifted away from a focus on academics and joined Peer Health Exchange to improve health outcomes for young people. Mia is inspired to work for Girls Leadership and empower girls, families and educators to focus on a holistic development approach, in order to build healthy, diverse communities, where everyone is proud to be their authentic self. Outside of the office, Mia plays soccer, practices yoga and chases after her son, Daisuke, and dog, Pharah.