UAA founded in 2012 is a 501© (3), non-profit community-based organization located in Sacramento, California. UAA strategically coordinates and aligns resources of an entire community together to increase the educational success for all students in the Promise Zone, Sacramento’s federally designated high-poverty areas.
The creation of UAA was inspired by the lack of educational equity and 21st Century Learning opportunities that continues to affect many youth, students, families, and our underserved counties in the Sacramento region, the Sacramento Promise Zone and across the United States.
UAA is a pioneering, innovative and revolutionary program that is eliminating the “School-to-Prison-Pipeline” for marginalized students and assisting students with educational equity plans and providing students the “Pipeline-to-College and 21st Century Career Technical Opportunities”.
Urban Advocates & Achievers (UAA), mission is to provide students and families with a holistic and personalized approach that empowers and uplifts both the student and their family in their pursuit of academic achievement, excellence, educational equity, and economic sustainability for an improved quality of life.
UAA’s vision is that all students and families receive an equitable educational experience, the best resources and support for academic achievement, economic stability, and personal development regardless of race, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, ability/disability, and/or socioeconomic status thereby improving their quality of life.
“Every child deserves a world-class equitable educational experience”.
“It takes a village to raise a child, and a community to uplift a family”.
Urban Advocates & Achievers (UAA) has run a successful 6-year pilot project that began in August 2013 through August 2019 in collaboration with the Office of Campus Community Relations, (OCCR) at the University of California, Davis. One reason UAA was established, was in response to numerous incidents that occur frequently at many schools across the United States that devastate the outcomes of students, specifically students in the education gap and students with disabilities. In California where UAA is located there is a fractured educational system that needs to be fixed with a universal and equitable educational system. Every year more and more marginalized students are placed into the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Our “Urban Trailblazer”, Alecia K. Eugene-Chasten responded, “Not on UAA’s watch”!
During its pilot, UAA found that evidenced-based and researched-validated student support interventions and resources tremendously improved outcomes for students in the education gap and students receiving Special Education services. As a result, UAA’s approach is “Meeting Families Where They Are” and providing a holistic and personalized experience to serving the family as whole; in education, 21st Century Career Technical Opportunities, Personal Development and Making Dreams Reality!
UAA has a host of programs and resources that places students on the successful journey of the Pipeline to College and/or Career Technical Opportunities. UAA offers 8 core components designed to help students and families gain the skills needed to successfully participate in all aspects of productive citizenship to include Advocacy, Family Academy, Tutoring, STEM/STEAM, Mentorship, Reservation for College Community Program (RCCP), Urban Arts, and Healthy Bodies & Minds.
Alecia K. Eugene-Chasten
Founder/Chief Executive Officer
Tinisha Davis – “Lady T”,
Deputy Director Programs & Services
“Urban Operator” Deputy Director Operations & Development
Alecia K. Eugene-Chasten
Founder/Chief Executive Officer
Urban Advocates and Achievers (UAA) has
“Our Urban Trailblazer”
Alecia K. Eugene-Chasten is the Founder/CEO of the Urban Advocates & Achievers.
UAA was inspired and created because of the lack of educational equity in education and educational equity for students with disabilities and while serving as Board Trustee at Twin Rivers Unified School District.
Miss. Eugene-Chasten being a parent of three children in the education gap had spent over $15,000 at Sylvan Learning Center to help her children. However, it did not help until Alecia researched, learned, and was trained on how to advocate on behalf of her children and received the needed resources to support her children’s educational success! The outcomes for Eugene-Chasten’s three adult children produced college graduates from Mills College, CSU Eastbay, and San Jose State University.
Miss. Eugene-Chasten was elected and served as the first African American Woman Board Trustee to the Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD), School Board.
The first inspiration came in 2007, at a meeting for her 9-year-old fourth grader, the Resource Teacher said, “because her child was struggling in math, her child could aspire to be a warehouse worker!”
Here’s what Alecia noticed; the words spoken by the Resource Teacher flowed so easily out of the resource teacher’s mouth and Alecia thought, how many other parents or students had this happened too? Sadly, this travesty continues to be perpetuated by many educators, administrators, counselors, school board members and superintendents who stereotype, give-up, and/or mis-educate black and brown students including students with disabilities.
The second and ultimate moving inspiration came in 2012 after she served for 5 years as Board Trustee. During this rewarding and tumultuous journey, Eugene-Chasten experienced discrimination and harassment from the Superintendent Frank Porter, fellow board members: Michele Rivas, Linda Fowler, Bob Bastian, Rodger Westrup and the contract lead attorney Tim Carey.
As Board Trustee, Eugene-Chasten also witnessed, first-hand how black and brown students were placed in the “School-to-Prison” pipeline systematically by TRUSD utilizing disciplinary methods such as suspensions and/or the expulsions.
At one specific board meeting regarding school closures, Eugene-Chasten mentioned that many schools in Del Paso Heights were being closed and schools in Rio Linda remained open giving the appearance of segregation and in equities in education. During the board meeting Ms. Eugene-Chasten further stated this would impact students of color because no transportation of busses would be provided for students resulting in serious safety concerns for parents and for their children. Immediately, Superintendent Porter and Board President, Rivas immediately stopped and recessed the board meeting because Ms. Eugene-Chasten said the word “SEGREGATION”!
Ms. Eugene-Chasten used her voice to support her district and the communities vigorously and passionately in TRUSD when discussing the Education Gap and opening an investigation with the Sacramento Grand Jury Office regarding TRUSD’s misappropriation of funds including police abuse in communities of color and specifically the Del Paso Heights community. During my 5-years as Board Trustee, Superintendent Porter and board members: Rivas, Fowler, Westrup, Green and Basitan tried to vote to censor and/or suppression my voice and categorized me as the “Ill-informed and angry Black Woman”.
Miss. Eugene-Chasten demonstrated strength, courage, passion and more importantly used her voice and created policies to help all students succeed and specifically students in the Education Gap and students with disabilities. Alecia is especially grateful for the valuable support from the TRUSD Communities and also thankful for the valuable support from the Black Parallel School Board, the Sacramento NAACP, the Greater Sacramento Urban League, California School Employee Association and the California Teachers Association and many other important organizations.
Alecia is proud and excited to create the Urban Advocates & Achievers to assist students and families on the successful journey of the Pipeline to College and/or Career Technical Opportunities and increase their economic opportunities.
As stated by Alecia Eugene Chasten, Urban Trailblazer, “The UAA are passionate “Social Change Makers and Education First Responders” with the belief that when “EQUITY” is applied strategically and consistently in education, there will no longer be an achievement gap.”