I was raised in Oakland, CA, and taught in the local public schools. I was an underperforming student and did not realize the misfortune until my early twenties. Imagine my surprise when I sat in a community college classroom for the first time without proper preparation—I was discouraged. The deprivation of good teaching engendered my lack of academic readiness and self-confidence. Fortunately, I eventually encountered caring educators through supplemental support. During several months of intense self-discovery and personal development, I uncovered NNeka. My true academic journey began at my alma mater—Clark Atlanta University. I went from low-performing to academic excellence!
After graduating from college, I was on a mission to help others through inspiration, empowerment, and education. My K-12 experiences motivated me to lend my energy to advocating for students and families in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sadly, as a practitioner, I witnessed a lack of care for children and families all too often. As a mom, this was quite concerning and led to my exploration of educational theory and practice. I saw a great need to offer tools that empowered parents to propel their children to succeed. Thus, my graduate school journey in education commenced.
The Turning Point
The year 2002 was an exciting time in my life. I was nearing the end of my master's degree program. We had two toddlers enrolled in daycare, and I had a flexible work schedule as an educational consultant. I had the freedom to spend more time enjoying and observing our little ones. I was determined to get motherhood right. I conducted case studies of historical and exemplar contemporary parenting practices and pedagogy.
My husband and I have always believed in prioritizing family life. We only get 18 years to rear our children. Far too often, career endeavors can become increasingly labor-intensive, reducing us to an imbalance in our personal lives.
I realized I was in training to teach my children. Naturally, all parents are doing their best to provide a viable home for their children. What do you do when you discover your child has needs beyond the educational resources available? We took charge.
Twenty-three years later, we are sure home education was the best option for our children. They had the freedom to flourish academically and develop a sense of agency and interests without typical K-12 barriers. Our two oldest kids received scholarships to attend college at sixteen and graduated at nineteen and twenty. Now they are thriving adults with the freedom to live life with a sense of purpose, self-esteem, and self-worth. Our youngest daughter is up next!
Take the Journey
While I have over 20 years of entrepreneurial and educational experience as a non-profit co-founder, college professor, and educational consultant, I am most proud of my wife, mother, and home educator roles. Family interplay nurtured my greatest lessons. The intersection of my professional and personal experience has brought me to this juncture. I am committed to leading SLI and empowering others through transformational life, leadership coaching, and virtual instruction. Thank you for considering taking your journey with us.
I look forward to inspiring, educating, and empowering you through online coaching and instruction!
"Leading, Loving, Educating, Inspiring, and Empowering others to Live and Lead Purposefully."
Dr. NNeka Allen-Harrison is a former social service provider and family counselor, a proponent of transformative education, authentic leadership, community empowerment, home education, and educational justice and equity for marginalized people. Dr. NNeka has taught college courses at Mills College, coached, and consulted with leaders, school districts, community-based agencies, and parents on authentic leadership, inquiry & action, home & distance education, family-school-community partnerships, educational equity and justice, and social-emotional wellness.
Dr. NNeka Allen-Harrison Co-founded Leaders Innovators & Forward Thinkers of Tomorrow (LIFTT Inc.), a STEM education non-profit, Summit Learning Institute, LLC, has authored and co-authored several books and articles. She is a dedicated wife, mother, educator, and leader. For the last 18 years, she and her husband successfully homeschooled their two children through college graduation and are currently homeschooling their teen daughter in high school.