Meet Our Founder

Sam Prater

Sam Prater


Born and raised in Detroit, MI. Sam is the 12th born of 14 children. After dropping out of high school and attending community college, Sam went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at Central Michigan University (FireUp Chips!), a master’s degree from Fordham University (Go Rams!), and his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from California State University, Northridge (Go Matadors!). With nearly 13 years of experience in higher education as a student affairs practitioner, most of his career has been built in Housing & Residential Education.

Sam is passionate about fostering student success in the context of housing and has developed a keen sense of the critically important growth & development that occurs at the intersection of living in communities where students also learn. Sam currently works within the Dean of Students office at California State University, Los Angeles where he manages the campus’s SB-85 Basic Needs Initiatives (Housing & Food Insecurity and Emergency Needs Grants) as well as providing wrap-around services (health and wellness, academic, and emotional support) to students.

Founding Supporters

Founding Supporters

All Ways Up Foundation

Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation

ECMC Foundation


Rob Ettinger Family Foundation

John and Sarah Kobara Family Fund

Reissa Foundation

Ready to Succeed LA

Social Venture Partners LA

Students 4 Students

Mayer Foundation

John and Marilyn Wells Family Foundation

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