Press Release

America’s Promise Alliance Welcomes New Board and Trustee Members

Adds new youth voices to leadership positions

WASHINGTON, DC America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, has elected three members to its board of directors and appointed two members to its trustees.  With the addition of these new members, the board now has 21 members in total, across different sectors and backgrounds, and 44 trustees – all of which guide the alliance. The new board members will serve a three-year term and the trustees will serve a two-year term.
Nicole Anderson, assistant vice president of social innovation at AT&T and president of the AT&T Foundation, joins Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, CEO of Say Yes to Education and the first president of the newly launched Weiss Institute, as the newest corporate and nonprofit sector leaders to join the board, respectively.
“It is an absolute honor to welcome Mary Anne and Nicole to the America’s Promise board,” says Alma J. Powell, chair, America’s Promise Alliance. "Their leadership within their respective sectors has made an indelible mark on the lives of young people and has helped to improve lives across the country. We are fortunate to have them share their wisdom and talents with America's Promise."
  • Nicole Anderson (Board) oversees AT&T’s philanthropic initiatives, including AT&T Aspire – a $400 million commitment since 2008 to drive innovation in education by accelerating the learning revolution and connecting it to the young people who need it most. A former America’s Promise Trustee, Ms. Anderson continues the multi-year work with America’s Promise and AT&T that began with the dropout prevention summits almost a decade ago.
  • Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey (Board) leads Say Yes, a national nonprofit that partners with communities around the goal of providing every public high school graduate access to a college or other post-secondary scholarship, as well as the support services to ensure they can seize that opportunity.  She is also the president of the Weiss Institute, a new partnership between Say Yes, America’s Promise and the Center for Promise that brings together the best thinking, latest research and field-tested strategies to support communities seeking to help more students get on a path to success in higher education and beyond.  As part of this strategic partnership, America’s Promise CEO John Gomperts joined the board of directors at Say Yes.
Championing Youth Voice 
Youth voice plays a significant role in the work that America’s Promise does and so it is imperative for it to be reflected throughout all levels of the organization. Each year, young people are selected to serve alongside sector leaders as fellow board members and trustees with full voting privileges. This year, America’s Promise welcomes Elizabeth Zalanga to the board, and Alexis Creamer and Kiara “Kiki” Gilbert as trustees.
“The wealth of knowledge and experiences that these bright young people bring to our work is invaluable,” says John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “They have spent their academic careers working to improve the lives of others by being part of solutions to some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable. We are lucky to have the opportunity to hear and learn from their perspective.”
  • Elizabeth Zalanga (Board), 21, attends Saint Paul Community and Technical College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she plans to graduate with a degree an Associate in Arts Degree with an emphasis in social science and public affairs. The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Zalanga is working to empower and elevate the voices of young women and under-represented youth through her award-winning work on Minnesota Public Radio.  She serves on the board of directors at Youthprise, is a representative on the Saint Paul/Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, and is a Youth Advisory Board Member for the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.
  • Alexis Creamer (Trustee), 21, is a student at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing and Technical Writing. She is a co-founder of the non-profit organization FLY Girls, a youth development program dedicated to unveiling a place where young girls are confident in their identity and the power they hold through artistic expression. She is also a leader at the Wyman Teen Leadership Program, where she guides teens through a college and community emerging leadership program by promoting positive leadership skills and developing program activities. Creamer attributes much of her success to the program and mentors she had there, and is passionate about the ways non-profits can change the lives of young people.
  • Kiara “Kiki” Gilbert (Trustee), 18, is an incoming freshman at Princeton University majoring in Philosophy and African-American Studies. She is a first-generation college student who experienced homelessness throughout high school. Gilbert has implemented numerous programs in her school. Through her work with  the Communities in Schools staff, Gilbert has organized hunger drives, educational panels, and mentoring programs. She is a Ron Brown Scholar, and has served as a role model and leader for numerous youth in her community. She is the recipient of the KPMG Future Leaders Program Scholarship, and plans to continue her commitment to social justice and racial equality in her upcoming years at Princeton.
The America’s Promise board and trustee bodies provide strategic counsel and advice regarding the organization’s mission and work, including the GradNation campaign. For a full list of America’s Promise board and trustee members visit:
America’s Promise Alliance leads more than 450 organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce.