Stars, a Pasadena-based nonprofit organization which specializes in academic tutoring and mentoring PUSD students from elementary school through high school and beyond, has selected Matumaini “Matu” Taylor as its new executive director following a nationwide search.
Taylor will replace outgoing executive director Nancy Stiles, who served in the role for a decade.
“She is a thoughtful and innovative leader who truly has a heart to serve while successfully maintaining an inclusive and results-driven environment focused on promoting advocacy, growth mindsets and fostering program development and expansion with an emphasis on student success,” said Stars Board Chair Hazel Perera. “Her exceptional skills as a respected trainer, pastor and speaker have endeared her to students, making her an ideal fit for Stars.”
Stars, a faith-based organization, aims to provide relationship-centered support to children, teens, young adults and families. Founded in 2001 as Lake Avenue Community Foundation and renamed Stars in 2018, the nonprofit affirms, equips and emboldens young people to pursue a life of purpose, service and meaning. Stars is one of the most impactful mentoring-based organizations in Los Angeles and serves more than 350 students and their families each year, according to Perera.
Taylor previously served as the director of High School and College Age Outreach at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood since 2016, She has an impressive 20-year career in ministry, nonprofit and public administration. She is an ordained and licensed minister and holds a Master of Divinity from King’s College and Seminary. Taylor has worked at public and private institutions, church and government, historically Black and predominantly white institutions, and a state-level higher education coordinating board.
“Stars is impressed by Matu’s track record, both professionally and personally, for ensuring that all persons are treated with dignity and respect and are given an opportunity to receive a quality and well-rounded access to support services,” Perera said. “Matu is excited to be a part of the Stars community and to join the Stars community as we work to prepare students and families for success in the global society.”
Meanwhile, Stiles announced her plans to step down as executive director in early 2023 in order to begin the search for the organization’s new leader. Stiles is Stars’ longest-serving executive director and has grown Stars from 12 to 22 staff members and expanded programming in response to COVID to include wellness initiatives for families, new group mentoring initiatives, and the Stars counseling program. The college program has grown under her leadership from supporting a few students annually to a robust scholarship and support system managed by two dedicated staff members serving more than 50 students.
Stiles has also led the organization through a renaming and rebranding process and more than doubled donor and fundraising support from less than $1 million to $2.2 million.
“Her leadership and vision has positioned Stars exceptionally well for its next chapter,” Perera said. “The board expresses our tremendous gratitude and appreciation for the leadership, dedication and excellence she has given to Stars.”
First published in the July 13 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.