LaShawndra Thornton

LaShawndra Thornton

Associate Director, Achieving the Dream, Inc.

LaShawndra Thornton is an Associate Director at Achieving the Dream, Inc. In this role, she primarily works on the Working Student Success Network Initiative leading state policy work as it relates to creating pathways and integrated services for low-income community college students. Additionally, she oversees the MetLife Foundation’s Financial Products Initiative that seeks to re-envision financial inclusion systems and infrastructure to improve the likelihood of student success, including oversight of six Financial Health Prototypes.

Prior to joining Achieving the Dream, LaShawndra was a Management and Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Education. In this role, she provided project management support for the Race to the Top District and Teacher Incentive Programs, managing grant-funded initiatives totaling $150 million. Also, at the Department, she was the Non-State Educational Team Lead, providing annual awards up to $5 million to new charter schools and for promising charter schools to disseminate best practices. Lastly, she operated as the Replication & Expansion Competition Manager for the Charter Schools Program awarding $25 million to Charter Management Organizations.

LaShawndra founded Limby in 2015, a non-profit whose mission is to motivate, inspire, and empower amputees and individuals with loss of limb sensation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Eagle Prep Academy located in Washington DC. She is also a Mentor with Capitol Partners of Education.

LaShawndra earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. She also holds a Masters of Public Health and a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University. 

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