About Us

Our Story, Our Work, and Our Team

Our Vision

We envision a world where the entire education ecosystem has access to all the resources they need to help students become successful.

Our Mission

We empower teachers and school administrators by elevating their voices and bringing to attention their efforts to support students and advance the education sector. 

Our Story

Acorn started with a curriculum-based pilot STEAM program at Oakland High School’s Fashion, Arts, and Design Academy.  Shortly after, we launched a makerspace and 3D design training program at Oakland Public Library’s Main Branch. 

In our journey to scale our pilot programs we met and spoke with over a hundred teachers. These were teachers who had reached out to us explaining their needs and sharing their stories.

As our understanding of the education sector matured, we realized the need for supporting educators directly, elevating their voices, and bringing light to their incredible stories and work. 

Our Leadership

Ankita Joshi

CEO and Co-Founder

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Michelle Nie

CFO and Co-Founder

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Ashlee Horn

COO and Co-Founder

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Our Board of Directors

Alice Agogino

CEO & CTO at Squishy Robotics, Inc; Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley

Mariana Somma

Lecturer at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business; Senior Partner, Experience Design at Employera

Jacie Jones

Managing Director at GreenPath Food

Deniz Dogruer

COO & Co-Founder at Squishy Robotics, Inc

Our Team

Haruka Ichikawa

Social Media Manager

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Mirna Smith

Events Coordinator

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Derin Lawal

Podcast Producer

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Sagar Soni

Director of Business Strategy

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Sterling Hardaway

Director of Fundraising

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Hyunji Kim

Fundraising Coordinator

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Yesi Castro-Mitchell


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Batsheva Frankel


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Sarah Sylvia

Podcast Producer


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Contact Us

Acorn is an education impact studio dedicated to empowering schools and educators. We are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


150 Sutter St #766, San Francisco, CA 94101


© 2020 by Acorn Labs Inc. 

Images from Freepik by slidesgoUpklyak, and stories