There are roughly 22,000 tech companies in San Francisco, yet most local high school students have never set foot in one. Most don’t even know what a “startup” or a “venture capitalist” is.
Stevon Cook, a former resident of San Francisco’s public housing system, is changing that through his work as chief executive of Mission Bit and his work as a commissioner on the Board of Education for the City of San Francisco.
Cook grew up at a time when Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters’ Point was known as a school that had developed a reputation for sending low-income students to college.
When Cook was looking at high schools, he got assigned to a dropout factory, but he was determined to get into Thurgood. Every student at Thurgood received a laptop and the message they sent was that a laptop was a key to getting into college.
One day, a new principal came on campus and changed the entire culture of the school leading to horrendous outcomes. As a result, Thurgood Marshall’s reputation went from a pipeline of students going to college to “Thug Good” and 9 different principals over 7 years.
Cook was determined to bring the school back to its former glory and began a years-long campaign to reform the educational system — and save his beloved alma mater. After losing his first time running for a position in office, he tried again and successfully became San Francisco’s Commissioner on the Board of Education.
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