Mia Arakaki

Chief Program Officer

Mia has spent the past 15 years in service of young people from historically marginalized sectors of society as an educator, coach, school leader and innovator. Born and raised in Berkeley, CA, Mia was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning her B.A. from Yale, where she also walked-on to the soccer team. Following graduation, Mia taught elementary and middle school students in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Mia has also served as Program Director and School Director with Teach For America, and was an assistant principal at KIPP Central City Primary in New Orleans. During this time Mia earned her Master’s in Public School Building Leadership at Columbia’s Teachers’ College.

Mia’s experiences have demonstrated to her the essential nature of SEL-based 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 – mind+body+heart – to build caring, connected, empowered communities, where everyone is proud to be their authentic self.

Outside of Girls Leadership, Mia can be seen engaging in stimulating discussions around race, power, privilege, resilience and love with her book groups, eating at her dad’s restaurant Sushi California, and running around town with her two young children.