Originated novel internship/apprenticeship training programs, leading to 90% of participating college graduates finding full-time employment and 30% pursuing advanced degrees.

Award Winning Educational Leadership ProgramAward Winning Educational Leadership Program

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Dr. Koo conceived and launched all aspects of a non-profit social outreach organization focused on coaching, mentoring and training leaders to better manage time, take tests, prepare for life-long learning, and boost confidence, productivity, and interpersonal skills to improve their academic performance and home and social life. Grew organization from startup to creation of board of directors and expansion to 650 staff, managers, and nearly 100 instructors, counselors and researchers. Served 17,000 people in five counties throughout California and internationally.

Key Contributions

Key Contributions:

  • Created more than 200 innovative, leadership, and career development, organizational development, and culture change programs for agencies, businesses, cities, and a network of nearly 100 organizations to cultivate a college-to-work pipeline.
  • Originated novel internship/apprenticeship training programs, leading to 90% of participating college graduates finding full-time employment and 30% pursuing advanced degrees.
  • Identified gaps in learning by working extensively with city and school leaders, creating a business case to provide comprehensive and impactful afterschool programs and services.
  • Awarded Certificate of Recognition from California State Senate seven times and named the best service organization out of 28 cities in 2014.
  • Recognized for spearheading the area’s only comprehensive college preparatory organization helping 100% of low-income minority students participating attend 65+ colleges after high school.

Program Examples

  • College Preparatory Leadership and Mentoring Program
  • Internship Training Program
  • College Pipeline Program
  • County-Wide College Fairs
  • Healthy Relationships Program


  • Minority students who completed the full-year educational leadership program graduated from high school, graduated from college, and more.
  • Students attended more than 65 different four-year institutions and two-year colleges nation-wide. All four-year college students have graduated, or in the process of graduating from college/graduate school (e.g. Harvard, USC, etc.), or matriculating into Ph.D. programs
  • Conceived and launched a successful agency by providing more than 200 professional, leadership, and career development workshops to adults and young adults;organizational development and cultural change for agencies, businesses, and cities; and established a network of businesses, agencies, colleges, and companies to cultivate a college to work pipeline. Over 17,000 adults and young adults served in five counties throughout California
  • Established an internship/apprenticeship training program, both in creating the model and supervising apprentices. As a result, 90% of college students found employment, mostly full-time, and 30% of them went to graduate school
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I used to hate life. I hated my job, I hated the people I worked with, I hated existing. I hated, felt hopeless, and didn’t want to live. I was a depressed person. I felt like a depressed person, I acted like a depressed person, I felt the hopelessness of a depressed person.
And now, after Project Spices…
I don’t have the inner pain that used to be a part of me all the time…
Now, I am a person who has hope. I am able to think positively. I take on challenges I vowed I would never do. I am able to meet some of the goals I make for myself. I’m not devastated about the goals that I don’t meet; I’m still able to feel hope that I can accomplish those goals.
My job still isn’t easy, but when I drive to work I find that I am still able to have positive thoughts about my life. In addition, a lot of the same situations and the same people that once brought a lot of frustration and hurt, I find that a lot of those things don’t bother me with the same intensity as before. . . . In short, life is better. Before, life was so awful that I thought it was a miracle that I would even put one foot in front of the other. The difference is, even though I am still a work in progress and am still taking things day by day, I feel as though I can walk greater distances…

Educator with Depression for 20 Years
Elementary School Teacher

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