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Lavere Foster ’11

May 14, 2024

When Lavere Foster ’11 first stepped onto the Skidmore College campus, he felt like he was a world away from his Bronx neighborhood. But that would soon change, and Skidmore became his new home for the next four years.

Lavere Foster ’11“Skidmore put me in a place that I needed to be educationally and allowed me to establish relationships I carry to this day,” says Foster, who was a student in Skidmore’s Opportunity Program. “The OP staff, the faculty, and the students all played a significant role in the person I have become and my passion for serving communities in need.”

Foster, an American studies major, earned his master’s degree in higher education and student affairs administration at Buffalo State University. Now in San José, California, he is the associate director of the African American Community Service Agency (AACSA), a nonprofit that provides a wide range of educational, cultural, social, and recreational activities and services to help strengthen and meet the needs of the African American community in Santa Clara County. Programs include year-round STEAM education for kids, leadership academy and career support for young adults, parenting classes, countywide cultural festivals, and services that provide food, civic engagement, recognition of local businesses, and much more. 

In his role, Foster oversees efforts to develop, strengthen, and expand much of this programming, among other responsibilities. Before his current role, he was the AACSA policy and advocacy coordinator, focusing on community outreach, building collaboration among businesses and other nonprofits, designing advocacy campaigns, and engaging with policymakers. 

Foster developed much of his leadership and diverse skillset during his time in Florida, when he served as a legislative aide to then-Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III. He continued to work for Gilbert as a legislative aide in an expanded capacity when the former mayor was elected to the Board of County Commissioners District 1 (Miami-Dade County). 

“At Skidmore, I discovered the power of community and education to create meaningful change in our society,” Foster says. “Today, at AACSA, I apply those lessons on a larger scale with a dedicated team that strives every day to uplift and empower our community across the South Bay.” 

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