Sally Matsuishi - Executive Director

As President / CEO, Ms. Matsuishi is the driving force behind Next Generation Scholars. Ms. Matsuishi's passion for higher education for the underserved began at Vassar College where she was selected to serve on a student advisory committee to the Admissions Department for the recruitment of under-represented students. As she ventured into underserved neighborhoods, Ms. Matsuishi found extraordinary students yearning for a chance at an education. She had not only found students for Vassar, but she had found her life's work.

Sally MatsuishiAfter graduation, Ms. Matsuishi teamed with activist alumni from several Ivy League colleges who wanted to go beyond college-access for the underserved. The new goal was to develop future activists and community leaders who, upon graduation from college, would have both the academic and the experiential knowledge to spearhead meaningful change within their own communities. While working in Koreatown, South Central and East Los Angeles, Ms. Matsuishi developed an ethnic studies-based program which encouraged students to assume roles in the struggle for social justice. Upon returning home to Marin County, Ms. Matsuishi added student-run community uplift projects to teach students leadership and organizational skills and to show them they could already effect change within their communities. Ms. Matsuishi also began providing wrap-around social services to ensure that downturns in the economy or family emergencies did not prevent students from succeeding in school.

In addition to sharing her expertise in college preparation and admissions with current scholars, Ms. Matsuishi conducts workshops and speaks at local schools, colleges and universities. She is also a frequent speaker at the Western Association of College Admission Counseling.

As an independent educational consultant, Ms. Matsuishi has helped countless students navigate the higher education admissions process. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Marin Education Fund, the Asian American Alliance of Marin and the Action Coalition of People of Color. She also holds membership in the Higher Education Consultants Association, Western Association for College Admission Counseling, The American College Counseling Association, and The Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development.

In 2006, Ms. Matsuishi was honored as the "Volunteer of the Year" by the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership of Marin. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies and Art History from Vassar College and a Master's of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, School of Television and Cinema.