Malika Velinor
Year
2019
Chapter
Position
Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, Dean of College Success

As the current Dean of College Success at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA), Malika works toward the mission of college access, success, and completion as the leader of JRLA’s College Success Program. In her role as Dean of College she leads a team that facilitates programming for 9th-12th grade scholars and their families through campus tours, Parent University trips and events, “FAFSA & Fajita Night,” weekly workshops, on-site and admissions visits, field trips, and the creation of a Seminar course to assist scholars with the college application and matriculation process, where 100 percent of scholars have received at least two college acceptances.

The College Success Program at JRLA operates as a 9-16 model that supports alumni through the completion of their postsecondary pursuits. This includes robust alumni programming through college visits each semester, academic and socioemotional support, renewable scholarships, alumni panels, social media pages, events during the holidays, summer send-offs, and alumni parent meetings. Malika’s passion for college access and success began as an English teacher at JRLA. During her time as an 11th and 12th grade teacher, Malika stayed in contact with many of her former scholars, often hearing about their collegiate experiences and challenges. This prompted Malika to begin creating ways to improve instructional and cultural practices in her classroom for first generation and low-income college students.

Prior to relocating to Detroit, Malika was born and raised in London, England and later moved to Brooklyn, New York during her teenage years. During her time in New York City, Malika received an internship with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Arts in Education department and summer AileyCamp. It was here that Malika received the support and mentorship necessary to navigate the college process as a first-generation immigrant college student, as well as developed the passion for young people and the environment needed for them to live out their dreams. She later attended Penn State University where she received dual degrees in Sociology and African American Studies before pursuing her Master’s in Education: Urban Pedagogy from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. The mentorship that Malika received to be able to pursue her career aspirations, she now pays forward through JRLA’s Advisory Program and the mentorship of many of JRLA’s alumni. It is Malika’s hope to continue her goal of providing gateways to success for her scholars, while someday merging best educational practices from the US and her hometown of London, England.