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CHARITY | Communities in Schools

BIOGRAPHY | Susie Lee is the President of the Board of Communities In Schools of Nevada, a fitting evolution for a woman who has dedicated the majority of her adult life to ensuring that others have a chance at life success.

As the Board President of Communities In Schools of Nevada, Lee is focused on building awareness and effective strategies to help address the drop-out epidemic in Nevada. The continued success of the organization is undoubtedly rooted to the perseverance and unwavering commitment of Lee and her ability to be the driving force of inspiration for the Las Vegas community and educational realm.

As long as there are at-risk children in Nevada, Lee will continue to ensure that CISN remains a central means for providing the essential support and services. The core of Communities In Schools is providing a caring adult in each school who coordinates delivering services to the neediest children. Lee understands all too well the one thing that these important people provide to at-risk students: hope. She has changed children and adult’s lives and is a respected woman of merit within the nonprofit community. Without her highly effective leadership, caring heart and fighting spirit many local organizations would not have reached their ultimate level of success.

Lee arrived in Las Vegas in 1993, equipped with a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, and immediately began working to improve the Las Vegas and Nevada community. First, as a research director for a gubernatorial campaign, Susie drafted several proposals which are now state policy. She then became the founding Executive Director of Mobilized Assistance and Shelter for the Homeless (MASH) Crisis Intervention Unit, an innovative approach to providing multiple services for homeless clients under one roof.

As one of eight children growing up in a single income family in Ohio, Lee was often times the beneficiary of a helping hand from mentors and educators. These experiences fueled her passion to provide the same guidance and compassion to those she encounters in need. In 1995, she became the founding director of the Inner-City Games, which is now the After-School All-Stars. In its 15th year, ASAS now reaches 5,000 kids annually by providing after-school activities and enrichment programs. Lee has remained a committed member of the Board for the past 10 years.

Lee provides leadership in establishing and helping non-profit organizations evolve, most notably Nevada Women’s Philanthropy, where she is currently President Emeritus. NWP is an innovative approach to philanthropy, as its members’ annual donations are pooled to form a large impact grant that is awarded annually to a local non-profit organization. NWP has awarded more than $2.5 million to: Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, After-School All-Stars, Public Education Foundation, Legal Aid, Rape Crisis Center, Salvation Army, and Goodwill. As an early member of Nevada Women’s Philanthropy, Lee guided the grant screening process and established procedures so more of its members could become active in the community.

As a public education advocate, Lee also serves on the Superintendent’s Educational Opportunities Advisory Committee, as well as the Clark County School District English Language Learners Program Task Force. During the past 19 years, Lee has provided her time and commitment to several non-profit organizations including Public Education Foundation, Teach For America, Special Olympics, The Meadows School, Nevada Cancer Institute, and Keep Memory Alive. She is an avid hiker, biker, skier, and loves spending time with her family and dogs outdoors.

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