Published Mar 26, 2020
Raised by a single mother in Hong Kong, Dr. Yvonne Chan immigrated to the United States at age 17 with just $100 in her pocket. After earning a doctoral degree in Education from UCLA, Dr. Chan was recruited to lead Vaughn Street School in Pacoima, California. Under Dr. Chan's leadership, Vaughn became the first conversion charter school in the nation, resulting in dramatically increased academic achievement among the school's low-income, predominantly minority student body. Fluent in both Chinese and Spanish, Dr. Chan enlisted parents in a capital improvement project, implemented nutrition and health programs, and created a family and social services center that offers vaccinations, child care, job training and legal aid. In response to neighborhood drug problems, she mobilized the community to improve drug awareness and prevention. Vaughn Next Century Learning Center now educates more than 3,000 pre-K through 12th grade students on five contiguous campuses, spanning six blocks.