Founding Chief Executive Officer
Olis Simmons is the Co-Founder and Board Chair of Castlemont Community Transformation Schools (CCTS), a cradle to career continuum designed to regenerate a robust community school environment with the District and hold students as primary drivers of neighborhood revitalization. Simmons is also the founding Chief Executive Officer of Youth UpRising (YU), a nationally recognized organization committed to changing the place without displacing the people in one of America’s most disinvested areas. Simmons launched both organizations as hyper-locals in an expanding constellation of entities designed to personally transform opportunity youth, radically improve systems, and develop economic opportunities at scale for the community.
Prior to founding CCTS and YU, Simmons’ regional work for Alameda County, within both Health Care and Child Welfare, leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private resources to integrate and enhance critical services. Her national work with Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) on welfare reform and welfare-to-work projects included research and technical assistance aimed at shaping public policy and programs for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Americans.
As a social innovator, Simmons’ work is frequently highlighted in the media and she has received a number of prestigious awards, including the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.