In 1997, David Domenici and James Forman, Jr. founded the See Forever Public Charter School as a program for teens involved in the juvenile justice system. The program offered youth opportunities to earn money, learn marketable skills, and return to an academic environment focused on inclusion and success. Soon thereafter, in 1998 in collaboration with Reid Weingarten and Eric Holder, See Forever incorporated the Maya Angelou Public Charter School (MAPCS). The new school offered all disconnected youth in the D.C. area a place to engage in full-time, rigorous academic programs with innovative wraparound services they needed to succeed. Today the See Forever Foundation is a nonprofit and youth development organization which manages a network of Maya Angelou Schools. We support the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, the Young Adult Learning Center and three Maya Angelou Academies in secured settings—MAA@New Beginnings, MAA@YSC and MAA@DC Jail.
WHO WE SERVE Maya Angelou PCS 💻
★ The MAPCS school population: Boys 51% | Girls 49%
★ 27% of MAPCS students have been incarcerated or are under court supervision
★ 39% of MAPCS students have special needs, approximately twice th eaverage for public schools in Washington, DC
★ 74% of MAPCS students are considered at-risk*
★ 98% of MAPCS students are African American
★ 86% of MAPCS students who have a history of truancy are reengaged
★ 87% of MAPCS alumni persist through the critical first year of college or career
*Categories of At-Risk Designation from OSSE: SNAP eligibility, TANF eligibility, Foster Care, Homelessness, or Student One year Older than Expected Age for Grade
WHO WE SERVE Young Adult Learning Center 📝
★ 69% of YALC students in the high school credential program pass the GED exam
★ 88% of YALC students in the workforce program obtained a relevant credential
WHO WE SERVE Maya Angelou Academies in Secure Settings 📚
★ Academy scholars earn credits at an 87% rate, more than 3 times the rate pre-Academy.
★ 71% of Academy scholars are positively engaged in education, employment, or a group home 120 days after returning to the community.
David Domenici is currently the Executive Director of Breakfree Education. David has been working with at-risk and court-involved youth for over 20 years. In 1997, he quit his job as a corporate lawyer, and along with James Forman Jr., started the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Public Charter School. Over the next 10 years David served as the organization’s Executive Director, as well as the Principal of its initial campus. In 2007, Maya Angelou Schools was asked to take over the school at Oak Hill, Washington, DC’s long term juvenile correctional facility. David designed the school program, hired all the staff, and became the founding Principal of the school, called the Maya Angelou Academy. David left the Maya Angelou Academy in the fall of 2011 to start the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings. David is an Ashoka and Echoing Green Fellow, and is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the University of Virginia.
James Forman Jr. is J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He attended public schools in Detroit and New York City before graduating from the Atlanta Public Schools. After attending Brown University and Yale Law School, he worked as a law clerk for Judge William Norris of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. After clerking, he joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented both juveniles and adults charged with crimes. During his time as a public defender, Professor Forman became frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients. So in 1997, along with David Domenici, he started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School. Professor Forman teaches and writes in the areas of criminal procedure and criminal law policy, constitutional law, juvenile justice, and education law and policy. His particular interests are schools, prisons, and police, and those institutions’ race and class dimensions. Professor Forman’s first book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, was on many top 10 lists, including the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2017, and was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Dr. Clarisse Mendoza Davis is the Chief Executive Officer of the Maya Angelou Schools and the See Forever Foundation. Prior to her appointment as the CEO, she served as Chief of Schools for the organization. Dr. Mendoza Davis has served students and families in urban schools in both traditional district and charter settings since 2006.
After teaching high school English in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), Clarisse served as Principal of Tindley Renaissance Academy in Indianapolis, Indiana, Chief Operating Officer of the Early Stages Division of DCPS, and Deputy Chief of Schools at the UNO Charter School Network (now the Acero Network of Schools) in Chicago, Illinois.