Vincena Allen describes herself as an education advocate. Yet, she never imagined that a work-study job in the financial aid office at her undergraduate alma mater, Allegheny College, would inspire her to pursue a career in higher education and eventually lead her to working with schools and educational non-profits across the country.
In her current role as chief growth officer at The SEED Foundation in Washington, DC, Vincena serves on the leadership team and is charged with advancing SEED’s expansive college matching, transition and completion initiatives across their network of schools and externally to stakeholders throughout the country. Vincena has vast experience in post-secondary education, non-profit administration, and leadership development, and has dedicated her career to improving educational outcomes for historically underrepresented communities.
Throughout her professional career, Vincena has traveled in the U.S. & Caribbean conducting college and financial aid seminars, leading college admissions recruiting programs, and facilitating college access workshops for urban education outreach efforts. She is grateful for the experience she acquired during her time managing college campus visitation, alumni admissions and multicultural student recruitment programs at colleges in the midwest and northeast. Her involvement with community-based college access programs started when she became the assistant director of the D.C. Metro Area Consortium of Universities’ College Information Center. Over the years, she presented at several national conferences including the National College Access Network (NCAN), National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), The College Board, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Additionally, she spent two years leading a College Readiness and Navigation committee for a college persistence and student supports project funded by the Gates Foundation.
Vincena is thankful for the many opportunities she has had developing and sustaining educational programming for youth and families—ranging from middle school through college. Additionally, she greatly enjoys spending time building strong teams and providing professional growth opportunities whenever possible. Her interest in and passion for human development and education led her to study psychology at Allegheny College, earn a master’s degree from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, and receive a certificate of non-profit management from Columbia University. She recently completed the Emerging Human Capital Leaders Fellowship sponsored by Education Pioneers and Urban Schools Human Capital Academy.