About the Mobile Area Education Foundation

A Letter from the CEO

Carolyn Akers, CEO

Dear Interested Citizen,

The Mobile Area Education Foundation has served as an advocate and activist for public schools in the Mobile community for the last twenty-two years. Our core beliefs and values remain an integral part of everything we do, especially now as we begin to write our next chapter. We are redefining our priorities, and continuing our broad-based citizen engagement approach that has proven itself time and time again with the success of the Yes We Can movement.

MAEF, in partnership with the school district and business and civic leaders across Mobile County, is increasing the chances that students will Graduate Ready for college and careers.

We support our public school system in transforming schools across the county to increase high school graduation rates. We create partnerships with industry leaders to develop students’ workforce skills in Mobile County Career Academies. We help to improve the quality of life in Mobile County by increasing the volunteer base and the number of citizens actively involved in community efforts to improve educational outcomes for children. We create a civic culture of continual improvement across Mobile County.

Through these efforts we have seen the graduation rate increase over 20 percentage points in the past three years. We set the goal to graduate at least 80 percent of our public school students ready for college, career, and life by 2020, and that goal is not too far out of our reach.

However, the work is just getting started. We will continue to offer programs like the Evening Education Options Program that targets students who are at risk of dropping out because they are over-aged and under credited. By focusing on growing our volunteer base, our Reading Buddy program will ensure students are reading on grade level by the end of third grade. To provide the intervention needed to help middle grade students improve their academic progress as they create a roadmap to graduating on time we use the RAMP UP to Graduation Initiative. Engaging Youth through Engineering will continue to redesign the way math and science are taught in our schools, while introducing STEM to students as early as fourth grade.

The Mobile Area Education Foundation is working to create a better community, one graduate at a time. We know we can’t do this alone. Every volunteer hour, and every dollar contribution, puts us one step closer to improving the quality of life for every resident of Mobile County. I’d like to invite you to become a part of the movement to improve the lives of all Mobile County citizens, children, and future generations of Mobile workers. We’re proud of accomplishments to date and look forward to opportunities ahead.

Carolyn Akers
MAEF Chief Executive Officer

Our Purpose

At MAEF our goals are to innovate for student achievement, enhance strategic partnerships, and to build a community driven platform. We encourage innovative practices and programs that expedite student achievement by providing tools, providing development, and advancing promising innovations. We also partner with area business and industry to graduate students career ready by knowing the recipient, knowing the givers, and evaluating partners for satisfaction, impact, and growth. Lastly, we inspire action to build a high quality public education system by establishing easy metrics, using simple communication channels, and creating a Donor-Centric funding model.

Our Vision

We exist because we believe the community’s potential can only be realized when all its citizens have access to high quality public education.

Our Mission

Our mission is to build community responsibility for improving public school outcomes in Mobile County. We work with, but are independent of, local Public School Systems.

Board of Directors



Karen Outlaw Atchison

Self Employed

Robert Baker

Hancock Bank

Preston Bolt

Hand Arendall, LLC

Talma Carstarphen
Vice President

Envision Healthcare Corporation

Glenn Hodge

Mobile County Commission

Mike Marshall

Community Volunteer

Bill Sisson

Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

Carol Statter

Infirmary Health

Mark Spivey

BB&T Bank

Jill Stork

Alabama Power

Jim Walker

Goodwyn, Mills, & Cawood

Lissa Watkins

Community Volunteer

Contina Woods

Regions Bank


Our Staff



Carolyn R. Akers

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Jeremiah Newell

Chief Operating Officer

Michelle Parson

Director, Finance and Administration

Janice Rivers

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Chandra Scott

Director, Strategic Outcomes

Lee Williams

Internship Coordinator

Melissa Nordmann

STEM Specialist