Lisa Andrew: School is a Haven

By Neelanjana Gautam | SJSU


Lisa Andrew, ’89 Natural Science, ’99 MA Educational Leadership, heads the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF), the largest educational nonprofit in the Bay Area, but her own path to education has been rife with many challenges. “I definitely was not on any kind of track to go to college, or be where I am today,” she says.

Graduation day in Natural Science with her son in tow. She would take her son to her classes. Photo Courtesy of Lisa Andrew.

As the oldest of three siblings growing up in a dysfunctional home in East San José in the 70s, Andrew bounced from one school to the other—eventually passing through nine different elementary schools and two middle schools spread over Franklin-McKinley, Alum Rock and Evergreen school districts, and then finally pausing at Silver Creek High School for her graduation.


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