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Angeles L. Echols-Brown

Angeles is Founder and CEO of Educating Young Minds in Los Angeles, CA. She knows what it is like to start out life with challenges. Born and raised in rural Tennessee, she grew up with two sisters and a determined single mother who instilled in each of them the value of discipline, faith, and education. Much of her childhood was spent growing up in the projects, on welfare, and in an environment where higher education was not an option many young people could hope to attain. Angeles did not let this limit her horizons. She applied to 20 colleges and was accepted into 19. She chose to attend Cornell University.

While at Cornell, Angeles discovered a love for the arts. She was awarded $5,000 from Willard Straight Hall to produce the musical “An Evening of Soul.” She directed the gospel choirs on campus and off. When she was not studying or performing, she was tutoring students locally. She was always torn between her love for the arts and her love of teaching. After much prayer and soul-searching, the path was chosen for her. She would become an advocate for children; she would become an educator.

After moving to LA, Angeles eventually was offered a teaching position at a small private school, Trinity Lutheran. Given the success of her class, teachers and parents eagerly sought her assistance. Very quickly she discovered the tremendous demand and need in her community, especially among people of color, for supplemental educational and counseling services. Soon her apartment was filled every day with children, with every part of the apartment in use as an educational facility. The need for a stand alone facility became clear. Thus Angeles founded Educating Young Minds Tutorial Program.

Educating Young Minds’ aim is to reach at-risk children and their families, channeling their energies toward achieving excellence. This is accomplished by linking high expectations with academic improvement through proven teaching and learning strategies and activities. Educating Young Minds provides a student/teacher ratio of 5:1 to better accommodate students (grades K-12) with different abilities and backgrounds. Angeles and her staff are determined to support, nurture, and guide as many inner-city students as possible.

Angeles L. Echols

At the time of our 30th reunion, Ms. Echols-Brown was celebrating her one year wedding anniversary. She was also launching a new project, Access / No Excuse, an educational and career development website designed to connect an individual's cognitive, affective and conative abilities to the needs of the businessworld, with academic, professional and referral support.

At the time of our 35th reunion, Angeles is very proud of her staff's relentless focus on serving students & their parents and that 9 of her 33 employees are graduates of Educating Young Minds (EYM). EYM has a 92% 4-year college graduation rate and more than 3,700 students have now accessed EYM's on-line tutorial and resource center -- Access / No Excuse. Two EYM graduates currently attend Cornell and more are on the way.

At the time of our 40th reunion, Angeles is celebrating 10+ years of marriage to Richard. EYM, a comprehensive, non-profit learning center that began in her one room apartment with two students, is now providing an unprecedented standard of academic growth, professional achievement and improved outcomes for more than 3,850 low-income, underserved, students (Pre-K to 12th grade). EYM has a 100% HS graduation rate while 84% of its students have graduated from four-year colleges, 14% from community colleges, and 32% have earned advanced degrees.