Kim and Mills further diversify the nonprofit’s Board in support of
opportunity youth across the U.S. and around the globe
ROXBURY, MA, June 9, 2021 — Education leader Chi Kim and entrepreneur Ray Mills have been elected to the Board of Directors for YouthBuild USA, a global nonprofit championing opportunity youth — young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor employed — as they earn the knowledge, training and opportunities that lead to long-term professional and personal success.
A woman of color with a distinct focus on mental and physical well-being in education, Kim is the CEO of Pure Edge, Inc., a private operating foundation dedicated to supporting educators and learners in combating stress and developing social, emotional and academic learning competencies. She has served as a school superintendent, principal, teacher and leadership coach, as well as a program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“The YouthBuild movement, just like my own career in education and mental health, has championed love, belonging and an open heart,” Kim said. “When young people build the skills and resources to reach their full potential, our communities and our world greatly benefit. I am honored to join the YouthBuild USA Board of Directors to help opportunity youth realize their goals and aspirations.”
Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education from U.C.L.A. She lives in Greater Boston with her three daughters.
With a passion for education, advocacy and social entrepreneurship, Mills has focused his professional career on underserved communities. A man of color and resident of Atlanta, he owns and operates several businesses in Georgia, including Mills Media Group and The Mills Academy. The Mills Academy is an early education and daycare center in his hometown of College Park that provides a safe, peaceful and nurturing learning environment for up to 150 children.
In 2014, Mills co-founded Run for Justice, an advocacy organization designed to bring attention to the tragic death of Michael Brown. He and fellow co-founder Londrelle Hall completed a 21-day, 614-mile running campaign from Atlanta to Ferguson, Missouri, to increase awareness of racial injustice and raise funds in support of Brown’s family.
“I am proud to join the Board of Directors for YouthBuild USA and to stand with the YouthBuild movement,” Mills said. “As a young man, I almost lost my way, and it was only through the encouragement of my family that I was able to find my path to social entrepreneurship and community-focused ventures. I’m honored my new board role will help YouthBuild USA support an incredible network of YouthBuild programs providing that same level of love and care to opportunity youth across the U.S. and around the globe.”
Mills studied business administration at Kennesaw State University. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife and three children.
“Chi’s expertise supporting educational well-being and Ray’s unique background in advocacy and entrepreneurship will serve the Board well as we position the YouthBuild movement for success,” said John Valverde, president and CEO of YouthBuild USA. “These two professionals know what’s at stake for opportunity youth, and they know the importance of building a proper foundation – mentally and academically – so our young people can thrive. We are grateful to have their perspectives, insights and partnership.”
The YouthBuild USA Board of Directors consists of 17 dedicated individuals from diverse backgrounds. Collectively, the board has relevant expertise in the fields of public policy, research, financial management, law, advocacy, nonprofit management, corporate management, housing, youth development and community economic development.
In YouthBuild programs, opportunity youth pursue their education, prepare for future careers and grow into community leaders, building brighter futures for themselves and their neighborhoods. With love and respect, YouthBuild partners with opportunity youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood and leadership. Responding to the urgent need for knowledge, training and opportunity, YouthBuild primarily serves young people who lack a high school diploma and financial resources.
YouthBuild USA is the nonprofit support center for a global network of 290 local YouthBuild programs in 18 countries, with 233 programs in 46 U.S. states and territories and 57 programs in 17 other countries.
With love and respect, YouthBuild partners with opportunity youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood, and leadership. At nearly 300 YouthBuild programs across the United States and around the world, students reclaim their education, gain job skills, and become leaders in their communities. To date, YouthBuild has partnered with more than 180,000 young people to dedicate over 50 million hours of service benefitting urban, rural, and tribal communities. YouthBuild strives to create a world where all young people are seen for their potential, and power to transform themselves and their communities. YouthBuild USA – the support center for the YouthBuild movement – strengthens YouthBuild programs through technical assistance, leadership development, innovative program enhancements, and advocacy. YouthBuild programs located outside of the United States are supported by YouthBuild USA’s international division, YouthBuild International.
For more information about the YouthBuild movement, YouthBuild USA, and YouthBuild International, visit YouthBuild.org.