Role Model

Mike Woodward

College Track New Orleans

Annually since 1986, YLC has selected a class of outstanding New Orleanians who serve as Role Models by actively contributing to the betterment of the Greater New Orleans region. These individuals are an inspiration to YLC’s young professional members and to the community at large.

Originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, Mike has been a socially motivated leader since he was a teenager. While in high school, he developed a countywide tutoring program called Helping Other Help Themselves (HOHT). During his undergraduate years at Stanford University, Mike founded the First-generation Low Income Partnership (FLIP), to serve as a platform for students who identified as the first in their family to attend university or low-income to congregate for social, academic and professional support. Upon graduating from Stanford, Mike co-founded Project Skill Build in New Orleans, a service initiative focused on empowering a traditionally marginalized segment of the New Orleans population to rebuild the city one home at a time. During his time at Project Skill Build, Mike helped more than 80 participants find full-time employment. Mike is a first-generation college graduate with a background in education, nonprofit leadership, and policy. He is an alumnus of both Stanford University and Tulane University. Upon realizing that he is most passionate about working with youth, Mike joined Teach for America in 2013. 

Mike has been recognized as both a student and a professional by numerous organizations. Among his awards and acknowledgements are Coca-Cola Scholar, Gates Millennium Scholar, Ron Brown Scholar, Albert Schweitzer Fellow, Bezos Educator Scholar, Louisiana Teacher Leader, Urban League ULEAD Fellow, Bryan Bell Metro Leadership Forum Fellow, New Leaders Council Fellow, STAND For Children Education Leadership Institute Fellow, Education Pioneers Visiting Fellow, a Leadership for Educational Equity Public Leaders Fellow, and Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans. He is also currently an active member with the Young Leadership Council, the Urban League of Louisiana, the Teach For America Greater New Orleans Collective, the New Orleans Global Shapers Community, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and serves as the Gulf Coast Regional Delegate for the Ron Brown Scholar Alumni Association, a Program Reading Committee member for the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and a New Orleans Business Alliance Economic Ambassador. 

Since September 2018, Mike has served as the Executive Director of College Track New Orleans where he leads a rock star team of 25 staff members to ensure that first-generation, low-income students have an increased opportunity to reverse generational poverty beginning with the acquisition of a college degree.  Prior to his current role, Mike served as the Site Director of College Track New Orleans for 3+ years. Most recently, Mike graduated from the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI), was named to the Gambit’s 40 under 40, and was selected as one of 80 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leaders Network fellows in the United States. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, tennis, and chess.

Mike-Woodward CT Headshot