N. Akosua Burris
Nicole Akosua Burris is a native Detroiter and comes from a long line of community organizers and freedom fighters. Her professional career spans more than 25 years of working for youth and families in Metropolitan Detroit. She has extensive experience in school administration, youth leadership development, and community-based programming.
At the young age of 24, Ms. Burris became the founding Director of the City of Detroit’s Resident Youth Council (RYC) program. As the Director she single-handedly improved the educational and cultural opportunities for high school youth in Detroit Public Housing residential communities, successfully graduating 95% of her participants from high school and enrolling 83% into a college or university. While directing the RYC program, Ms. Burris also served as the Performance Coach for the Black Caucus Foundation’s Drug Free Youth in Detroit drug awareness program. Additionally, she served as a Community Policy Trainer for the Detroit Urban-Research Center’s Neighborhood Working in Partnership for Policy Advocacy and as a steering committee member for Neighborhoods Taking Action for education and policy change in Detroit.
After over a decade of community youth programming, Ms. Burris decided to broaden her impact on student achievement and set her sights on school leadership and administration. She served as the Student Support Manager in Inkster Public Schools and the Community Resource Director at Detroit Edison Schools. As a school leader, she has been able to expose thousands of students and their families to academic resources, cultural arts, college exploration, and community/social activism.
Ms. Burris is currently one of the founding school leaders of University Prep Art and Design High School, Detroit’s first college preparatory high school with an art and design focus. As the Assistant School Director of Culture, she is responsible for developing and sustaining school routines and practices that align with the school vision and mission to serve the youth of Detroit.
N. Akosua Burris