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Ascendium's Education Philanthropy Announces Strategic Promotions to Elevate Impact

February 26, 2024 2-minute read
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Photos of Jessa Valentine, Amy Kuether, and Ashley Parker

From left: Jessa Valentine, Amy Kuether, and Ashley Parker

Ascendium is pleased to announce the promotions of three individuals within our Education Philanthropy team. Each of these team members has demonstrated remarkable dedication and leadership while improving our ability to give learners from low-income backgrounds more opportunities to succeed.

  • Jessa Valentine has been promoted to deputy director of learning and impact. In this new role, she will continue to oversee our investments in validation grants, with a particular focus on determining the effectiveness of postsecondary education and workforce training reforms. She will be instrumental in expanding the Learning and Impact team while collaborating closely with her fellow deputy directors, Janice Hicks and Carolynn Lee, to further our mission.
  • Amy Kuether has been promoted to senior program officer of strategic engagement. In originating this role, Amy will continue to serve as a liaison between Ascendium and our grant partners, identifying opportunities for collaboration and raising awareness of critical issues across our grantmaking. She also continues to advance Ascendium’s philanthropic mission by facilitating the sharing and dissemination of key insights to support the field.
  • Ashley Parker has been promoted to program officer. In her new role, Ashley will guide our postsecondary education in prison investments focused on creating and implementing pathways to success. These pathways not only facilitate degree completion but also foster meaningful employment opportunities. This strategic focus on pathways propels our Expand Postsecondary in Prison focus area into a new chapter of grantmaking, allowing us to drive towards upward mobility for incarcerated learners.

“These promotions signify an important step in the evolution of our team and underscore our commitment to achieving our grantmaking goals in 2024 and beyond,” says Keith Witham, Ascendium’s vice president of education philanthropy. “Jessa, Amy, and Ashley's hard work, dedication, and leadership serve as a shining example to us all, inspiring us to continue striving toward our shared vision of transforming lives through education.”

To learn more about Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy team, visit our website.