Lead Founder & Proposed Head of School
Ambika Dani discovered the long-term impacts of a good education at 14 years old, in Lagos, Nigeria, when she gathered a group of underserved children in the living room of her apartment to help supplement the education they were receiving: “I became keenly aware of the disparities in access to quality education and devoted myself to remedying this grave injustice.” Since that summer of teaching children on mats in her living room, she dedicated herself wholly to education and to ensuring that children everywhere have equal access to the education they deserve.
Ambika comes from a strong mathematics background. During her undergraduate years in college, she provided SAT tutoring and additional after-school support to low-income students on a volunteer basis. Following her graduation from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, she spent six years teaching the subject at the elementary, middle, and high-school levels in both charter and private schools. These opportunities helped her recognize high-quality, effective instruction and made her further appreciate how rare it is. In 2015, Ambika returned to Columbia University to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics education in order to further improve her teaching practice.
As Ambika works to found Promesa Academy, she is also a Fellow with Building Excellent Schools, a national nonprofit organization that supports leaders in founding high-performing charter schools in urban areas. As a Fellow from 2017-2018, Ambika will visit over 50 charter schools across the nation to learn from their best practices and to help inform the vision for Promesa Academy.