SEO was built on values of realizing human potential through education, mentorship, and access to opportunity. We are a dynamic team of talented, committed educators and professionals who are as likely to start a book club as we are to collaborate on a new college seminar that will impact generations of Scholars to come. We create a supportive environment that encourages and leverages diversity of thought and experiences. Together, we expand SEO’s ecosystem of excellence.
We Believe That
- education can break the cycle of poverty that has entrapped so many Americans.
- with rigorous out-of-school-time academic support and advising, underserved public school students can attend and excel at America’s top colleges and universities despite their economic circumstances.
- America’s economic future depends on ensuring that students from all walks of life get the education they need to make a substantial contribution to our society.
High School: New York City
High School: San Francisco
Executive Director – SEO Scholars, San Francisco
Omar Wandera joined our #SEOFamily in September 2020 ready to embark on the challenge of changing the lives of thousands as the Executive Director of SEO Scholars San Francisco! Omar was born and raised in Oakland, CA, and is the product of college access programs that forever changed the course of his life. He grew up in a single-parent household, strapped with traditional inner-city struggles, but made it to Norfolk State University because of the love, support, and guidance given by programs much like SEO. Omar’s life’s journey through education was cemented by the idea that he had to give back all that was given to him. He has spent the last 20+ years doing just that.
Prior to joining SEO, Omar taught middle and high school students for Norfolk Public Schools, was an Academic Coordinator at the Holy Names Upward Bound Program, supervisor of a clinical mentoring program in the Mission, administrator at KIPP SF Bay Academy, and spent 15 years as the founder of Leadership Public Schools Hayward. At LPS, he scaled a school with no students, no parents, no culture, and no identity, into one of the top-performing high schools in the state of California and recognized as one of the best high schools in the country by US News and World Reports. In addition, the school sent over 80% of its students to four-year colleges and universities, had multiple Gates Millennium scholars, and became the premier destination for families of low-income, first-generation students that wanted to pave the way for generations to come.
Omar has also served as the Director of African American Student Achievement for West Contra Costa Unified School District and Director of the National Summer School Initiative for the Oakland REACH.