Darlene Neal serves as Policy & Research Analyst within the Educational Equity Department at Advancement Project. In that role, she is responsible for supporting foster youth in academic advancement through work with Los Angeles Unified School District and identifying opportunities around their Local Control Funding Formula and Accountability Plan, building and mobilizing a broad coalition of foster youth supporters, and managing projects around child welfare and prevention initiatives within Los Angeles County. Prior to joining Advancement Project, Darlene worked with UCLA’s Student Affairs Division where she provided college access information, planning, and training for high school students, families, and educators within LAUSD’s traditionally disadvantaged schools. Darlene’s background also includes data management and training for a nonprofit social service agency directly contracted with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, whose mission was to prepare transition age foster and probation youth for adulthood and high school graduation through life skills and CAHSEE preparation. Darlene is a Los Angeles native and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles where she received both her BA in Sociology and African-American studies and her Doctorate in Education.