Oral Lee Brown


Oral Lee Brown is accustomed to hard work and challenges having left poverty in the Mississippi Delta and relocating to California as a young woman, she worked during the day and attended school at night as she raised three daughters. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco. With confidence and determination to make her next professional move, she attained her Real Estate Broker’s license and went on to become the owner of Nationwide Realty now known as (Oral Brown Realty) in Oakland, CA.

Ms. Brown’s difficult start in life and her religious faith has led her to believe in helping others and “giving something back” to the community. In 1987 Oral Lee Brown adopted the entire first grade class from Brookfield Elementary School in Oakland, CA. Her vision was to support these at-risk students in whatever ways essential to gain a quality education. She began to deposit $10,000.00 of her own money into a trust account for the children’s tuition and she continues her giving until this day.

Diedra Hughes

I have been a foster parent for over 20 years and I have supported numerous at-risk youth who have been residing in foster care for many years or for only a short period of time. All of the youth who were in my care have experienced significant trauma and loss due to circumstances out of their control. I am familiar with Alameda County Foster Care Services and other county systems within California because some of the youth I fostered resided outside of Alameda County.

I also support Foster Parents, Adoptive Parents and Relative Caregivers by offering support and guidance by referring them to resources that exist in Alameda County. As a Director at a group home for many years I fostered positive youth development in the children and non-minor dependents through encouragement, care, actively listening to their concerns, sharing knowledge and expressing love. One of my greatest pleasures is having a large family! Besides many aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and grandparents, I have two twin brothers and one sister who were adopted.

Pearlie Jewel Hampton

Pearlie Jewel Hampton (“Jewel”) is retired from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), where she obtained valuable knowledge of tax law. In addition, she is adept in mediating conflicts having worked for several years as a taxpayer advocate in the Problem Resolution Program of the IRS. This program works with taxpayers who have not been able to resolve their issues through regular channels. Jewel’s love of community and interest in its welfare is based upon her work as a volunteer with non-profit agencies, including her church, Lighthouse Ministries Housing and Community Economic Development Corporation and now as a board member of the Oral Lee Brown Preparatory Academy.

In addition to her career with the IRS, Jewel served as an administrator in her former church for over 20 years and serves as a communications clerk in her current church. As an administrator in her former church, she edited and collaborated in the research and writing of a book published by her former pastor. Jewel is the mother of two adult daughters, and the grandmother of four adult children. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Master of Arts in Theology.

Barrylynn Johnson

Barrylynn Johnson was born and raised in Palestine, Texas. Prior to moving to Oakland, California she attended Bishop College in Dallas, Texas. After relocating to the Bay Area, the first position she acquired was in the accounting department at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in San Francisco, California. Upon leaving Metropolitan Life Insurance, Barrylynn was hired by Alameda County Social Services, where she worked in the accounting department and later promoted to eligibility technician. Her next employment was with Alameda County Superior Court, where she held positions in the accounting and civil departments. While employed by Alameda County Superior Court she also worked in court support, as a courtroom clerk and later promoted to the position of supervisor and supervised courtroom staff at the Hayward and Fremont Courts. She is now retired from Alameda County Superior Court. Since retirement Barrylynn has volunteered her time to the Oral Lee Brown Foundation.

David Osborne

David Osborne has been a business leader, innovative, thinker, and a supporter of expanding college opportunities for underserved students for over thirty years. He has supported, founded and taken public multimillion dollar companies and has extensive experience in business startup and growth planning. These include JDS Uniphase, Spectra-Physica, Storage Products (acquired by Memorex), and IBM. He serves on the Board of nLight Photonics Corporation. His foundation, the OZ Foundation, has supported scores of students through college. Mr. Osborne holds a BSEE from San Jose State and a MBA from Santa Clara University.

Georgia Osborne

Georgia Osborne has a long history in education, at St. John Vianny parochial school and then in the Santa Clara School District. Ms. Osborne is co-founder of the OZ Foundation, a non profit focused on educating children from low income families. Ms. Osborne holds a BA from San Jose State University and a California Teacher's Credential in Elementary Education.

Dr. Melanie Spears

Dr. Melanie Spears is a senior academic administrative professional with over 25 years of experience. She provides content development, technical assistance, and professional development to school and district leaders on leadership, curriculum, and federal and state funding. She is an articulate and passionate speaker and consultant on topics, including school turnaround, dropout prevention, engaging the adolescent learner, data-based instructional decision-making, rigorous lesson design, parent involvement, and increasing postsecondary access.