Stevon Cook went from public housing to empowering public schools through tech training

There are roughly 22,000 tech companies in San Francisco, yet most local high school students have never set foot in one. Most don’t even know what a “startup” or a “venture capitalist” is.

Stevon Cook, a former resident of San Francisco’s public housing system, is changing that through his work as chief executive of Mission Bit and his work as a commissioner on the Board of Education for the City of San Francisco.

Cook grew up at a time when Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters’ Point was known as a school that had developed a reputation for sending low-income students to college.

When Cook was looking at high schools, he got assigned to a dropout factory, but he was determined to get into Thurgood. Every student at Thurgood received a laptop and the message they sent was that a laptop was a key to getting into college.

One day, a new principal came on campus and changed the entire culture of the school leading to horrendous outcomes. As a result, Thurgood Marshall’s reputation went from a pipeline of students going to college to “Thug Good” and 9 different principals over 7 years.

Cook was determined to bring the school back to its former glory and began a years-long campaign to reform the educational system — and save his beloved alma mater. After losing his first time running for a position in office, he tried again and successfully became San Francisco’s Commissioner on the Board of Education.

If you want to get more involved in his work in education, email and I will connect you with the appropriate people.