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Subjects: NPT, CHI, PER, WOM, DEI



NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Opportunity Network (OppNet), a national nonprofit organization with a mission to support young people from underrepresented communities on their paths to and through college and into thriving careers, announced the appointment of Lucria Ortiz as President and CEO, effective January 2, 2024. Ms. Ortiz will succeed AiLun Ku, who joined OppNet in 2011 and has served as CEO since 2019.

Ms. Ortiz will join OppNet from the Yonkers Family YMCA in New York, where she currently serves as the President and CEO and sits on the YMCA of the USA National Board of Directors.

"I am thrilled Lucria will join OppNet as CEO," said Raquel Vargas Palmer, Chair of The Opportunity Network's Board of Directors. "I am confident her exceptional track record of leadership at mission-driven youth organizations will put the organization on the path to success in our next exciting chapter. On behalf of the Board, I also want to thank AiLun for her tremendous years of service to OppNet, which have made an indelible and enduring mark for years to come. We greatly appreciate her contributions."

"With 20 years of service behind us, OppNet has never been stronger," said Jessica Pliska, The Opportunity Network's Co-Founder. "As we look ahead to the next 20, we are excited to support Lucria's vision for growing our impact and bringing in transformative resources for our communities. With her lifelong commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice, we know the organization is in good hands as work to close the opportunity gap for the thousands of young people we serve across the country."

Brian Weinstein, The Opportunity Network's Co-Founder added, "Lucria's extensive experience in non-profit and social justice is deeply aligned with our mission, vision and values. I look forward to her joining the team and partnering with her to propel our mission forward. We warmly welcome her into the OppNet family."

"I admire OppNet's commitment to creating strong pathways to success for youth of color," said Lucria Ortiz. "I have devoted my life's work to educational, economic and racial equity in underserved communities. I can't wait to work alongside the OppNet Board of Directors, leadership team, staff, and communities to pursue the organization's vision for change."

Ms. Ortiz is a seasoned business leader with over 20 years' experience in nonprofit, public service and legal practice. Lucria served as President and CEO of the Yonkers Family YMCA since November 2019. Prior to the Yonkers Family YMCA, Ortiz was Senior Vice President of Strategic Advancement at the Ridgewood YMCA and in senior fundraising roles at the West Side YMCA and the Summit Area YMCA. Before her nonprofit leadership, Lucria spent 11 years as a public defender at the Bronx Defenders, the New York State Supreme Court, and criminal and civil court judges in New York City. She is also a member of the New York State Hate and Bias Regional Prevention Council, the Yonkers Community Planning Council, and has served on the Mayor's Police Reform Committee, and the Yonkers Health Equity Task Force.

Since OppNet was founded in 2003, they have remained committed to igniting the drive, curiosity, and agency of underrepresented students on their paths to and through college and into thriving careers. As a result, 92% of OppNet Fellows have graduated college ? 90% of whom will be the first in their families to do so ? and 89% have started meaningful careers or graduate study within six months of graduation, all far exceeding national trends. Through its founding NYC-based Fellows program as well as its national capacity-building partnerships with 100+ schools and youth-serving nonprofits across the country, OppNet has helped more than 150,000+ young people chart their self-determined path to and through college and to a best-fit career. For more information on The Opportunity Network visit https://opportunitynetwork.org/.

For more information, please contact: [email protected]

SOURCE The Opportunity Network

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