Griffin — who founded Pathways to College in 1994 while serving as national president of A Better Chance — had a vision to create an after-school initiative to help high-potential students of color develop critical thinking skills and habits of mind to make achieving a college education an attainable goal. Nine years later, she launched Pathways as an independent non-profit organization that continues to grow under her leadership.
This year, Pathways to College was selected by Oprah Winfrey as one of four charities to benefit from the sale of Teavana® Oprah Chai, a new tea developed in collaboration with Starbucks. Proceeds will support its work nationally, including high school programs in New Jersey, Indiana, and New Haven, Conn.
A former executive assistant to the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, she has been an elementary school principal and a visiting lecturer/faculty member at three colleges. She is the author of three acclaimed children’s books.
Griffin earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and her graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and Columbia University. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by Gettysburg College. In 2008, she was a recipient of the Harold W. McGraw Prize in Education.