Lisa Santa Cruz

Promise Neighborhoods Director

Lisa was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona.  Growing up in a single-parent low-income household, others might have labeled her “at-risk”, but she did not allow financial or personal obstacles to stand in the way of achieving her goals. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration at Whittier College and Master of Science in Sport Management at the University of San Francisco. She has personally experienced how being educated can better lives and opens door to new and exciting opportunities. 

Lisa has dedicated most of her professional career to providing access to higher education for underserved populations. Prior to her current position, she served as the Program Coordinator and Assistant Director of the San Diego State University (SDSU) Compact for Success, a college access program between SDSU and the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD). She helped implement a Kids2College Program, a “College-Going Culture” curriculum, for sixth graders in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. She co-developed a Peer Mentoring Program to provide resources and peer support for Southwestern Community College transfer students. 

Favorite Quote:   “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou