Portia Newman joined Education Pioneers because she believes that education has the power to create avenues of opportunity for all students. She believes these opportunities are supported by thoughtful individuals who are committed to serving as agents of change within the education sector.

She comes to Education Pioneers with a background in early childhood teaching and as a College Adviser with a national college access program. Portia's experience has allowed her to work with amazing young people in very unique ways. She is a 2013 EP Alumna who is passionate about mentoring youth, supporting education leaders, and advocating for change.

Portia earned a BA in Child Development and Family studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

5 Questions for Portia:


1| What is your favorite school memory?

My favorite school memory was weekly Accelerated Reader celebrations. At the end of the week you would get a certificate for a small pizza if you read a series of books and passed the tests each week. It was definitely a weekly goal to out-read my classmates. This is when I fell in love with books!

2| Why do you work at EP and what do you love about it?

I work at Education Pioneers because I believe in service to all mankind. More specifically, I am committed to reimagining our education system and how it serves students and families of color. At EP we are focused on attracting and developing awesome leaders who serve students families and I am so excited to be a part of this work. The exciting pieces of my work include building networks, connecting people, and sharing knowledge. The Learning Programs team allows me to share knowledge, explore mindsets and create communities of educators who are seeking to transform the existing education system.

3| When was the first time you thought about working in education?

Like most college students, I was struggling to make a decision on a major. I thought medicine was the way to go, before having coffee with my mentor one day. He asked, what do you love to do? I answered, I love learning and I love kids. It was after a series of coffee chats and some research that I shifted my focus to education. It changed my life. It was the perfect match. I had spent a number of years serving in different capacities but it wasn’t until my second year of college that I knew my life’s purpose was to educate.

4| What’s your favorite EP tradition or memory?

EP Chicago 2013. As I Fellow, I enjoyed a summer with some brilliant individuals. We all got so close and that summer changed my life.

5| What’s your favorite food?

Mangos, truffle fries with garlic aioli, and apple pie. Oh, did you mean just one?