Meralis T. Hood is an education thought leader whose mission is to reshape the way we invest in the professionals who work with young people every day.
Most recently heading City Year Milwaukee as its Executive Director and Vice President, she maintains and reinforces strong and strategic relationships with Milwaukee Public Schools, City Year Milwaukee’s board, corporate and philanthropic partners, and the wider community. In this role she has led and supported 33 staff members and 120 AmeriCorps members, assuming ultimate responsibility and oversight for a $5.8M budget. Skilled in building and motivating high quality teams, Meralis led the scaling of the site's scope and budget by 20% over 3 years, negotiating an increase in district investment from $11K per AmeriCorps member to $14.6K per AmeriCorps member over 3 years.
A strong believer that all students can succeed, she gives her time to the National Executive Leadership Group and Senior Leadership Team for City Year, Inc., working to accelerate and advance the mission of building a more equitable future for our youngest citizens. Meralis was named to Milwaukee Business Journal's 40 under 40 in 2020. She serves as the Governor's appointee on the Wisconsin Humanities Council and is a member of the board of trustees for the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
Before joining City Year Milwaukee, Meralis was a veteran educator. She was the assistant principal at Bay View High School in Milwaukee Public Schools, a City Year partner school. Meralis was a bilingual teacher for nine years at MPS before moving into instructional coaching and administrative roles in the district.
Meralis was born and raised in Milwaukee after her mother was recruited from Puerto Rico to serve as a bilingual educator in the city. She holds a Bachelor of Art degree in advertising and public relations from Marquette University, a Master of Science degree in curriculum and instruction from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an Education Specialist degree in educational leadership and administration from National Louis University.
Meralis is a proud resident of Milwaukee where she lives with Nakia, her husband of 17 years, and their daughters Salma Esther and Sadie Isabel. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exercising, and traveling with her family.