Meet The Team
Charli believes “music is the universal language of the soul” and a panacea for societal problems. She is a curator of transformative, musical-learning experiences that empower individuals to create positive systemic change. Utilizing education as a vehicle for activism, Charli is driven in her desire to end inequitable systems in order to create opportunities and access for underserved communities. Change the Tune, the nonprofit she founded in this regard, seeks to leverage universal connectors, including music, food, and sports, to reimagine the afterschool experience for youth. Previously, Charli worked as the Leadership and Life Coordinator for Green Dot Public Schools, where she led the development of the organization’s social-emotional learning framework and oversaw the development of its Advisory Program. Prior to earning her MBA in 2014, Charli taught middle school mathematics and science in New York City for five years. Charli is primed to scale and leverage her revolutionary organization to transform the K-12 education system and meet the needs of all students.
Though born and raised in The Bahamas and educated in Canada, April Elizabeth Finlayson, was brought up in a single-parent, deeply southern, African-American household by her mother Gloria, an educator and businesswoman. Raised by the mantras “every generation should be better than the last” and “to whom much is given, much is required,” April set her sights early on creating environments and systems which enlighten and empower. Upon completing undergrad, April recognized the flagrant gaps and fissures in the Bahamian education system. Rather than complain, April dutifully decided to be a part of the solution. In 2009, she founded The Leadership Academy which is dedicated to developing the whole child, while modeled on individualization and personalization. Since then, she has assisted with the founding of seven other institutions. April’s long-term goals are undergirded by the pursuit of diversity, equity, individuality, access and greater professionalization in the education sector in the US and globally,
Alpachino’ s personal story as a first-generation college graduate combined with experiences working in college admissions and as a leader within the non-profit space has developed within him a keen understanding of the challenges facing students from marginalized populations. His professional travels granted him perspective to know his experience growing up in poverty in St. Louis are, unfortunately, not unique. This frustration became the fuel which inspired him to align with opportunities to make real impact on young people's lives. In his most recent professional experience, Alpachino served as Director of Educational Programs at LINK Unlimited Scholars in Chicago. In this role Alpachino provided strategic review and insights to programming for 600 scholars. Prior to LINK, Alpachino spent nearly a decade in college admissions. Alpachino is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Master’s EPM ‘19) and the Walter Williams School of Journalism at the University of Missouri (BJ ‘04).
Lin Johnson III has been an education leader at the charter school, school district and state levels. As a champion for equity, Lin focused on his role to deliver system-level change that impacts the quality and access of education for those students who are underserved. After receiving his MPA, MBA and stint in private sector, he worked for the charter school authorizer to provide high quality educational options to disadvantaged students in Washington, D.C. With a burning drive to address systematic educational inequities through policies, Lin helped to actualize the TN Department of Education’s strategy by aligning resources and investments to key priorities. Most recently, he oversaw the business operations and finance for the largest school district in Tennessee. During that time, Lin led with an equity-focus lens by addressing funding inequity, talent diversity and inclusion, limited access to rigor, inaccessible technology and poor facility conditions. He firmly believes that educational transformation can be achieved if the system changes the way it operates and focuses on being socially responsive. Lin is excited to learn with his fellow colleagues and faculty and to challenge the way the education system operates and uplifts those who are underserved.