In the News, Announcements

Jacksonville Native Hired to Launch Expansion of National Education and Economic Mobility Nonprofit in Northeast Florida

Hannah Oberholtzer, an experienced fundraising and development professional, is named Thrive Scholars Jacksonville executive director

May 31, 2023

Written by Thrive Scholars

Thrive Scholars, a nonprofit for high-achieving students of color from economically disadvantaged communities, has hired Hannah Oberholtzer to lead Thrive’s latest national expansion into Northeast Florida.

Oberholtzer joined Thrive in April as executive director where she will launch and sustain the program over the next three years for an estimated 60 Scholars from the area. She will be responsible for promoting and expanding the organization’s impact in the region.

“As someone who was born and raised in Jacksonville and who is proudly raising her daughters here, I am deeply invested in fostering a community of growth and opportunity for each future generation,” Oberholtzer said. “And that starts with a good educational foundation, access to resources and professional networks that otherwise may not be open to underrepresented students. I am thrilled to be a part of bringing this critical work to the betterment of our community and look forward to the positive impact we will create together.”

With more than 130,000 students in the Duval County school system alone, 49 percent are economically disadvantaged and 69 percent identify as students of color. Jacksonville met Thrive’s criteria for bringing academic and professional support services to the region: income inequality, large numbers of high-achieving Black students, a growing economy with STEM jobs, and a high resource gap. 

Thrive Scholars has partnered with The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida to launch the Scholar program locally. The Foundation has been an indispensable ally in promoting equity in education and economic opportunity for underrepresented or marginalized communities. 

“The Community Foundation has historically focused on improving outcomes for students who are struggling the most, through the Quality Education for All Initiative and Fund,” said Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation. “Now, we are proud to build on our past education work by supporting Thrive Scholars, which has a proven track record of helping talented high school students of color achieve their full potential.”

Starting with a high school student’s junior year, our program prepares and supports high-achieving underrepresented students to get into the nation’s Top 100 colleges and graduate with the career skills, experience, and social networks they need to thrive at the most innovative companies and become the diverse corporate, civic and academic leaders the country needs.

Thrive’s goal is to address the opportunity gap in corporate diversity and promote high-achieving students of color who are historically underrepresented in academia and executive positions to develop the inter-generational wealth and economic mobility their more privileged peers take for granted.

Oberholtzer, a Jacksonville native and University of Florida alumna, is an experienced fundraising, strategic communications, and government relations professional with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in public leadership. In 2018, she completed the Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprise at Georgia State University. She comes to Thrive from City Year Jacksonville, where she served as the Managing Director of Advancement. At City Year, an AmeriCorps affiliate dedicated to building diversity, equity and inclusion in education, Oberholtzer developed and implemented a strategic and sustainable fundraising and marketing infrastructure. 

Thrive Scholars was founded in Los Angeles in 2001 and serves students’ academic, social and professional development from their junior year in high school through college graduation in locations across the country. Thrive Scholars Jacksonville joins Thrive hubs in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and New York City. Thrive Scholars is supported by generous contributions from individual donors, foundations, and corporate partners from some of the country’s largest companies that align with Thrive’s career development and inclusion work. thrive cube