By Roadtrip Nation

Leilani Brown



My road in life has taken me all over.
As a child, I would go to my mother’s night classes with her, which instilled in me at a young age the knowledge that my family saw college as a means of upward mobility.
Right after college, my intention was to go to law school for no other reason than the fact that my mother wanted me to—but I didn’t get into any of the law schools I applied to.
When I graduated from college, I started working for an insurance company as a production underwriter selling insurance, which really put my relationship management and communication skills to work.
Outside of work, everything I was doing was related to education or workforce development—I realized I was really passionate about inspiring and guiding young people.
I wrote a book called “From Campus to Cubicle” to help give counsel to young people who had missteps after entering the workforce after college.
My experience and interests in education led to a job offer from K12, where I’ve been able to leverage passions as well as my communication, strategy, and relationship management skills.
I’m now a senior vice president at K12, where I get to drive strategic partnerships that will ultimately help more young people have access to educational and workforce opportunities.
In addition, I often speak at events and panels on a range of topics—in 2016, I was recognized as a Woman of Power and Influence by the National Organization of Women (NOW).
Keep following my journey


Senior Vice President

I lead K12’s expanding development of public and private-sector partnerships.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

I'm in charge of strategic partnerships and external engagement, so my days involve a lot of meetings, partnership pitches, and communications. I manage whatever strategic initiatives we have going on, which also involves a lot of communications through email, phone calls, meetings, and the like. I may also be working on an upcoming motivational speech or scheduling a public speaking event.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Confidence and organizational skills are critical, as this job involves a lot of various meetings, pitches, and management of multiple partners. Public speaking skills are also important for both my speaking events and partnership communications.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Dispense with the notion of the dream school and start thinking about the dream experience. If you think about it that way, then you can't fail. Not getting into a particular program is no longer a failure. You've actually opened up a broader set of options for yourself that way.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"You have to do things a certain way and there's no room for risk."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student
Family Stress