Mandela Schumacher-Hodge is Co-Founder and COO of Tioki. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Communication with a minor in Spanish. During her senior year at Pepperdine, Mandela made it through the rigorous selection process of Teach for America (TFA) and was one of only 15% of applicants to be admitted into the program that year. As a TFA teacher, Mandela spent her first year teaching 6th grade Humanities at Bret Harte Middle School, a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) middle school in South Central Los Angeles, and then went on to teach another two years at Bert Corona Charter School, an independent charter middle school in Pacoima, CA.
While at Bert Corona, Mandela was voted 6th Grade Lead Teacher, adding various new administrative duties to her teaching role, one of which was the hiring of new teachers. During this period, Mandela also obtained a multiple-subject teaching credential and Masters Degree in Education Administration and Policy from Loyola Marymount University. Most recently, Mandela was a Ph.D. candidate at the prestigious UCLA Graduate School of Education, where she focused her research on the teacher hiring process.
Aside from teaching and building Tioki, Mandela loves to be physically active, spending much of her free time working out, playing soccer, dancing salsa, and doing capoeira. Eager to explore and expand her horizons, Mandela is always in search of new experiences, adventures, and opportunities to learn from others. She is the proud owner of an adorable chiweenie named Marley, and just for the record, no, he was not named after the dog in the movie Marley and Me. He was named after Bob Marley, because he’s super chill, prefers peace over conflict, and all he wants is love.