College Success Foundation Board of Directors Names Yolanda L. Watson Spiva, Ph.D., New Foundation CEO and President

Jul 19, 2013, 03:01 ET from The College Success Foundation

ISSAQUAH, Wash. & WASHINGTON, D.C., July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The College Success Foundation (CSF) Board of Directors has named Yolanda L. Watson Spiva, Ph.D., the new chief executive officer and president of the College Success Foundation, succeeding retiring co-founder and CEO Bob Craves.

Dr. Spiva has served since July 2008 as CEO and executive director of Project GRAD Atlanta, Inc., a nonprofit organization with a mission to collaborate with the Atlanta Public Schools in order to increase the number of students graduating from high school and college.

She has spent her 20-year career in a range of leadership, general management, public affairs, operations and academic officer positions. Prior to her current responsibilities, Dr. Spiva was assistant dean at Trinity College; in her extensive work as a consultant she provided services to higher education, education associations and nonprofit organizations related to leadership, strategic planning, fundraising, public affairs, communications, program management and business process reengineering. She has also held various positions in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, GA.

The CSF Board of Directors unanimously selected Dr. Spiva based on her track record of leading and fundraising for nonprofits in the field of education; her understanding of public/private partnerships; her national experience and her strong executive and personal qualities.

"We are thrilled to have found an experienced leader who can help us sustain and grow our model of success inspiring underserved, low-income students to finish high school and graduate from college," said Craves, who also serves on the CSF Board of Directors.

"Dr. Spiva is a dynamic leader who has an extensive record of increasing the number of high school and college graduates from economically disadvantaged communities, and we are delighted to welcome her to CSF," said Herb Tillery, executive director of College Success Foundation – District of Columbia.

Dr. Spiva will assume her new role Sept. 1, 2013. She succeeds Bob Craves, who in 1998 was appointed co-chair of the Washington State 2020 Commission on the Future of Post-Secondary Education. At the conclusion of the commission, Bob and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins founded the Washington Education Foundation (now the College Success Foundation), bringing together community leaders from across the state of Washington to help students who are not adequately served nor supported by existing government and scholarship programs.

CSF's proven model of success has led to higher rates of college completion for low-income students who qualify for the free-and-reduced-lunch program. Sixty-five percent of Washington state College Success Foundation Achievers who started at four-year colleges their first fall following high school graduation earned bachelor's degrees within six years. Nationally only about 10 percent of low-income Americans attain a bachelor's degree by age 24. (US Census, 2009)

In total, CSF has raised nearly $500 million and awarded more than 11,000 scholarships. More than 3,000 CSF Scholars have earned a baccalaureate degree, with thousands of CSF Scholars still in college.

About the College Success Foundation

Founded in 2000, the College Success Foundation provides the unique integrated system of supports and scholarships to inspire underserved, low-income students to finish high school, graduate from college and succeed in life. For more information about the College Success Foundation, please visit

Dave Sharp
College Success Foundation
425.416.2016 or

SOURCE The College Success Foundation