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An Update from EMERGE Executive Director Trisha Cornwell

As we wrap up 2021 and head into the new year, I wanted to share a personal update with you. I have been fortunate to serve as Executive Director of EMERGE for the past seven years. When I think about the organization I entered and where we stand today, I’m so proud of what we have accomplished together.

After deep consideration, I’ve decided to step down as Executive Director at the end of the 2021-2022 school year to permanently relocate to Albany, New York to be closer to family.

When I reflect on my time with EMERGE, I am proud of the impact we've made in Houston. I am especially proud of our transformative growth from one school district serving 350 students per year to 67 high schools, five school districts, and 150 colleges and universities serving close to 3,000 students per year. We’ve navigated a global pandemic, and despite it being one of the most challenging moments in our organizational history - more than 95% of our students successfully matriculated to a four-year college or university with over 80% graduating from a selective institution within four years.

While I will greatly miss leading EMERGE, I do not think there could be a better time to transition. I’m leaving a talented and stable leadership team, an ambitious strategic plan for growth, incredibly strong district and college partnerships, a financially healthy organization, and a staff of talented and dedicated college access professionals who are ready to change the world. This is truly a momentous time for EMERGE, and I am honored to have been a part of its growth over the past several years.

The Board has named a search committee, led by Ann Kennedy, to identify and recommend my successor and has engaged Denise Smith Consulting to support the search. The job will be posted externally in the coming days. If you know an outstanding candidate for our next leader (CEO), we hope you will encourage them to apply. The Board expects to announce the CEO by June 2022 to allow a seamless transition.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of EMERGE and our students, staff, and alumni. We will keep you posted on the search and our continued efforts to further our mission as a leading college access organization.


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