Michael J. Carter

Founder, President & CEO

Michael founded Strive for College from his dorm room when he was a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis. He also studied at Oxford University and Georgetown University, before graduating cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010. After graduating, Michael established Strive’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. Michael has attracted substantial funding and partnerships from leading foundations, philanthropists and corporations. Michael is deeply involved in the Silicon Valley tech community, having consulted and advised for multiple startups. Michael was named a 2011 Echoing Green Fellow, a 2012 Bluhm Helfand Social Innovation Fellow, a 2013 CNN Hero, a ’30 Under 30’ honoree in education in Forbes in 2015, and one of Gentry magazine’s Top 50 Bay Area Philanthropists for 2016.

  • Washington University in St. Louis

Matt Rubinoff

Chief Strategy Officer

Matt oversees Strive’s college partnerships, working closely with the Chief Executive Officer and the Strive Board on business development, strategic partnerships, and fundraising. He leads the I’m First! campaign, and contributes to program design and strategy. Matt strives because he believes education equals opportunity. In his free time, Matt and his family enjoy the outdoors, which on any given weekend could include hiking, paddle boarding, beach time or a road trip.

  • Emory University

Ryan Hallagan

Success Team Manager

Ryan heads up Strive’s user engagement and satisfaction efforts, ensuring that both students and mentors enjoy a rewarding and enriching mentoring experience. He strives because he believes that the key to solving some of the world’s most complex problems lies in producing more minds capable of tackling the challenges that each present. In his free time, Ryan enjoys golfing and reading non-fiction books.

  • University of San Diego

Darren Webb

Growth Manager

Darren heads up Strives growth initiative to get more mentors and mentees on the platform. Prior to Strive, Darren worked with early stage startups as well as Fortune 500 companies to increase their growth and enhance their user acquisition campaigns. Darren strives because he wants others to have the same opportunity to access higher education as he did. In his free time, Darren enjoys exploring New York City, going to the gym and reading sports biographies.

  • Old Dominion University

Angela Deja

User Experience Manager

Angela assists mentors and students with on-boarding, questions and concerns, ensuring they are enjoying their Strive for College experience. She strives because she loves hearing the success stories, and hearing the joy in the voice of the students when they announce they got accepted into their best-fit college = priceless. In her spare time, Angela enjoys taking a break in her gazebo while gazing at her pet Koi fish in the pond. She also enjoys herb and flower gardening, photography, hiking and 4-wheeling. Angela’s favorite quote is “Optimists are those who go after Moby-Dick in a row boat with a bucket of tartar sauce.” – Zig Ziglar

  • Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

Christa Bennett

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Christa builds partnerships to support Strive’s work. Christa strives to create communities where all have opportunities to thrive. She has spent over a decade working with nonprofits offering health and education services. Her inspiration is Kurt Vonnegut, “Let’s help each other get through this thing, whatever it is”. In her spare time Christa enjoys hiking, camping, and practicing yoga.

  • Lee University & King’s College London

JR Dumlao

Director of Operations & Finance

JR oversees accounting and HR, and makes sure all departments within Strive are operating smoothly. JR strives because he enjoys being part of an organization that helps benefit society as a whole. Also, as a first-generation college grad, he was one of those students who was unsure about the college process. JR likes to spend as much time with his family as possible, and also enjoys creating music and playing basketball.

  • San Jose State University
  • First-generation college graduate

Dan Katz

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Dan works on development and outreach for Strive. He strives because he enjoys the chance to support an organization that makes college graduation a reality for many more deserving students across the country. In his spare time, Dan loves to surf, play soccer, and play music.

  • Washington University in St. Louis
    & University of Virginia

Terry Roberts

Special Projects Coordinator

Terry provides program and operational support. She strives because she is passionate about working with nonprofits to secure financial and operational stability, and grow that into long term prosperity. In her spare time, Terry loves to work with metal – creating both abstract sculpture and small furniture. She is a skilled welder and proficient with a wide range of power tools.

  • Knox College & Syracuse University
  • First-generation college graduate

Julie Tennie

Project Manager

Julie has a background in marketing, comms, design and project management. She works on a variety of marketing projects for Strive. She strives to help more kids access college, as education opens up opportunities. In her spare time, Julie enjoys spending time at the beach, hiking and drinking coffee in the sunshine.

  • University of Waikato, New Zealand