Sondra Samuels is the President & CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), a collaborative of over 40 partner nonprofits and schools. Along with parents, students, partners, and staff, Sondra is leading a revolutionary culture shift in North Minneapolis focused on ending multigenerational poverty through education and family stability. The NAZ Collaborative is working toward a single goal—to prepare low-income North Minneapolis children to graduate from high school college- and career-ready. NAZ has scaled up in support of over 1,000 parents and 2,300 students as they turn the social service model on its head and lead the creation of a college-bound culture throughout the community.
Ms. Samuels is a 21-year resident of North Minneapolis and a national leader committed to results-based leadership and accountability. She, her staff, and their partners work tirelessly to ensure the integration of effective cradle-to-career solutions across the NAZ collaborative — to scale and sustain results across the community and to achieve the systems and policy changes needed for low-income families and children of color to truly share in the prosperity of the Twin Cities Region. Under her leadership, NAZ was named a federal Promise Neighborhood and has become a nationally recognized model for community and systems change.
Sondra serves on the Leadership team of Generation Next, (a Strive Initiative), Community Advisory Board of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank's Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute, as well as the boards of Minnesota Private College Council and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. She was appointed by Governor Dayton to serve on the Hennepin County Fourth Judicial Selection Commission and served on the 2018 Super Bowl Host Committee Advisory Board.