Please join us in welcoming Dr. Althea Kanessa Blake to our LEAP Tampa Bay team as the new Program Manager for the network.
As Program Manager, she will guide the progress of LEAP’s Working Groups and various projects, while maintaining a focus on serving underrepresented populations.
Dr. Blake joins LEAP after serving as the founding Program Coordinator for St. Petersburg College’s Road to Independence, Success, and Excellence (RISE) program, which is a retention program for students who’ve been involved in the child welfare system and students facing homelessness. In her prior position, she was a Counselor/Advisor for TRiO Student Support Services at University of South Florida (USF), carrying a caseload of over 100 students whose demographics are similar to many served by LEAP and its partners – low-income, first generation. Additionally, she was one of USF-St. Petersburg’s first Academic Success Coordinators.
As a staunch advocate for education equity, Dr. Blake is excited to join LEAP’s efforts to foster more highly credentialed communities. As her previous roles indicate, she specializes in student support services and has dedicated her work to tackling barriers to academic success, serving the underserved, and narrowing achievement gaps. She has been especially committed to supporting youth and young adults who have been involved in the child welfare system, volunteering as a regional point of contact for practitioners who work with this special population.
She has regularly attended Florida College Access Network’s Annual Summit to stay up to date with statewide efforts.
Dr. Blake holds a Doctor of Education degree from Northeastern University and focused her graduate research on the power of collective impact networks. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Central Florida.