Mariko leads the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative – Demonstration Cities for the Aspen Forum on Community Solutions. The “100K” Demonstration Cities engage in collective impact initiatives that coordinate efforts across systems and sectors to prepare opportunity youth – young people ages 16-24 who face systemic barriers to jobs and education – for employment opportunities. The initiative’s employer-led coalition of U.S.-based companies has committed to training and hiring 100,000 opportunity youth by 2018. As National Coordinator, Mariko provides leadership and direction for the learning community of participating cities and develops and supports public/private partnerships that enhance and expand local capacity to develop the opportunity youth talent pipeline.
In her prior role as Director of the City of Seattle’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, Mariko led a community-based, multi-sector, collaborative effort to reduce youth violence by providing a network of supportive services to approximately 1,500 youth in the city’s most impacted neighborhoods. Before coming to Seattle, Mariko served as a President & State Director of Communities In Schools of New Jersey where she was responsible for the management and operations of the state affiliate of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life. During her tenure at CISNJ, she established four independent affiliate organizations in high-needs school districts that engaged public and private sector partners to channel critical supportive resources to students Pre-K – 12. Mariko has extensive experience in working with diverse communities and coordinated the broad-based citywide public planning effort to set education goals for the City of Newark’s successful application for federal designation as an Enterprise Community.
Mariko is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Engaging Schools.