Veniese Bradley Mitchell

STEM Learning EcosystemsSM Consultant

Veniese Mitchell has amassed more than 14 years of leadership experience in college access programming creating successful programs for first generation, low-income, underserved, minority secondary students at the local, regional and national levels.

Mitchell currently serves as Technical Asistance Lead (TAL) for the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) where she serves three STEM Learning Ecosystems in cohorts 1, 2 and 3 in the Eastern part of the country. Mitchell concurrently serves as Director of Illinois GEARUP. In Illinois, the Federal GEARUP grant is administered by the Illinois Student Asisstance Commission (ISAC). Mitchell leads a team of 5 managers and oversees 24 GEARUP partner schools throughout the State of Illinois. Mitchell is tasked with full program implementation including 7th – 12th grade curriculum design, development and implemtation.

“Most of all I love working withTIES because I get to work with people who are passionate about the futureof children…all children which are my driving force.

Prior to joining ISAC to lead GEARUP, Mitchell held the post of Training & Curriculum Manager for College Advising Corps (CAC), where she lead the design, development, implementation and delivery of training programs for national CAC program chapter focused on core college access adviser training areas. Prior to the national training role, she was the Regional Director for the College Advising Corps (CAC), while she concurrently served as an operations liaison, consultant and adviser to MDRC’s college match program. In addition to her professional responsibilities with CAC and MDRC, Mitchell was accepted to serve as one of only a handful of professionals nationwide to evaluate scholarship candidates for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, which was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She was also selected to present two workshops for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative’s Beating the Odds Summit: a daylong conference held in the White House for 150 college-bound students who overcame substantial obstacles to graduate high school and enroll in college.

Prior to joining the College Advising Corps, Mitchell began her career in college access programming and leadership within the Chicago Public Schools progressing from College & Career Coach at Kenwood Academy into a district-wide College & Career Specialist. There she held full accountability for leadership over five College & Career Coaches and the creation and implementation of college access programs in 21 CPS high schools, as well as facilitating city-wide professional development programs, aiding faculty and staff in understanding and responding to pertinent college access topics.

Prior to her career in college access programming and leadership, Mitchell held a progressive career in finance, project management, database administration and quality assurance within healthcare, professional associations and corporations. Mitchell completed a Master of Business Administration from Saint Xavier University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Robert Morris University. Active in a variety of community organizations, notably, she is the co-founder of SERIOUS (Sharing Empowering Responsible Information 4 Obtaining Undergraduate Success), a city-wide success program that supports the transition of high school seniors to college.

More About Me

I Bet You Didn’t Know

  • I play saxophone and a nerdy, wind-controlled synthesizer with jazz groups and church groups. As a volunteer at my local school, I assist the jazz band director and mentor a team of students participating in a community arts collaborative project.

What I Love About My Job

  • I love working with TIES because I get to share my knowledge while learning from the best. People at TIES are knowledgeable, caring and social which is the perfect situation for me to soar! Most of all I love working with TIES because I get to work with people who are passionate about the future of children…all children which are my driving force.

A Transforming Moment

  • My favorite TIES transformation story goes back to 2016. I was assigned a Cohort 2 community new to the STEM Learning Ecosystems concept who has a fearless leader. This community has gone through peaks and valleys but has managed to have frequent community meetings, has brought strategic partnerships to the table and has delivered STEM-based programming to elementary schools. At times, it has been rough for this community because for several months their SLE host had to withdraw from the work to undergo some much-needed internal reorganization. But for the Ecosystem! Their host Sci-Port is back online and is continuing its support to this initiative! Without the leadership and dedication of Heather Kleiner, North Louisiana STEM Alliance would not be where they are today!