Eric Abrams, Directory of Diversity Initiatives at Haas
Board Member, 826 Valencia, San Francisco, CA
Board Member, Making Waves Academy, Richmond, CA
Eric Abrams is a familiar face around Haas, having joined the School in 2012 as the Director of Diversity Initiatives. Eric interacts comfortably with all of his Haas partners – staff, faculty, and students – and it was in one of these interactions with Amy Chou, MBA ‘16 and Berkeley Board Fellow at 826 Valencia, that led to Eric’s election as Member to 826 Valencia’s Board of Directors in January.
It was a casual hallway conversation; Amy shared with Eric that she was a Berkeley Board Fellow for 826 Valencia. Eric welcomed an opportunity to get involved with the group, and after Amy made an introduction to the Executive Director, Eric toured the office and observed a board meeting indicating an interest to be on the board. At the following board meeting, Eric was voted in. The Haas network at work!
Eric joined 826 Valencia’s board with prior nonprofit board experience. He had spent about a year as a board member for Making Waves Academy in Richmond, CA. Eric was drawn to 826 Valencia, as he had been to Making Waves Academy, by its mission and population served. With a passion for closing the achievement gap for low income, first generation college eligible youth, he hopes to bring to 826 Valencia college-going counseling and support, and given his background in higher ed admissions and student services, Eric is well suited to accomplish this. When asked how he balances two board positions, his work, and his personal obligations, Eric said, “Working a part-time schedule is helpful and my travel is seasonal. Plus, my wife (Donna, Haas MBA/MPH alumna ‘93) and I will be empty-nesters soon, so I can manage the time especially given that the work of both of these nonprofits is dear to my heart.”
At CNPL, we love seeing our worlds collide in such a positive fashion: 826 Valencia as a Berkeley Board Fellow nonprofit partner, and Eric Abrams, a trusted and respected colleague teaming up to make the world a better place.
826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Its main goals are to close the academic achievement gap for under-served youth in the Bay Area, provide the tools and resources necessary for success in school and beyond, connect caring adults to young people in need of individualized support, and make the path to college and career less of a leap.
Making Waves Academy is a thriving charter school serving low-income students in the Richmond, CA area. Making Waves is committed to rigorously and holistically preparing students to gain acceptance to and graduate from college to ultimately become valuable contributors to the workforce and their communities.