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Karliss Akins

Assistant Program Director, Center for Afterschool and Expanded Learning

Karliss Akins is a community-building professional with nearly 20 years of practical experience working with at-risk populations. He is deeply committed to helping youth and adults develop the academic, work, and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.  In his current position as Assistant Program Director, Center for Afterschool and Expanded Learning, Karliss provides operational and instructional supervision for Foundations' direct-service programs in Northwest Philadelphia.

One of Karliss's key strengths is building relationships. He leverages vital partnerships with the many regional businesses and community organizations that Foundations relies on to support successful program delivery. He also cultivates authentic, caring relationships with the students and families who participate in programming. During his tenure at Foundations, he has supported the start-up and operation of initiatives such as the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Technology (PCAT) and KidZone Philadelphia, which focused on education, employment, and civic engagement.

With specialty technology expertise, Karliss has provided logistical and technical oversight for a variety of high-tech MAC and PC learning spaces, as well as a state-of-the-art music lab and recording studio. As a certified technology instructor, he has taught community members of all ages the basics of computer hardware, utilization of the Microsoft Office Suite, digital communication, and use of the internet.

Karliss's early career included coaching and mentoring young people at Freedom Schools Philadelphia, where he worked as a college monitor. From there he served a counselor and activities coordinator with the After School All Stars.