Les DeWitt, BS, Vice President, is a well-known figure in education and public service on the San Francisco Peninsula. He is a 1970 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science. Since 1990, he has worked with Dr. Winkleby, serving on the board of the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, helping guide its youth mentoring programs. He brings an extensive knowledge of youth programs, local schools, fiscal management, and fundraising to the Board.
Mr. DeWitt is known for the successful founding of a number of educational initiatives for low-income youth. Among these are the Peninsula Bridge Program that he founded in 1989. This program partners with schools to reach under-served middle school students to enhance their academic skills and self-confidence, and realize their potential for success in high school and college. The partnership, between four public school districts (Ravenswood, Sequoia Union, Redwood City and San Mateo) and seven local private schools, has served over 3,000 young people in its 20 years of operation. In 1997, Mr. DeWitt cofounded the Compass Program, a high school transition program that reaches out to 400 under-served students annually at Menlo-Atherton, Woodside, Carlmont and Sequoia High Schools. Now in its 13th year of operation, the Compass Program received the 2002 Russell Kent Award for the County of San Mateo as an exemplary service program.
In 2002, Mr. DeWitt founded the Fund for Peace Initiatives, a community based nongovernmental organization whose mission is to foster peace-building through civil advocacy, education and art. A focus is to disarm violence in all of its forms, from children with weapons in schools and communities to nation-states armed with nuclear weapons.
A 47-year resident of the Peninsula, Mr. DeWitt has twice been honored by the California State Legislature for his public service achievements. He has also been honored as Menlo School’s Alumnus of the Year, has received the Peninsula Community Foundation’s highest award for volunteer public service, and has been recognized by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for his contribution to the Board leadership. In 2006 he was honored by the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula as the clubs first “Community Hero” award winner.
Mr. DeWitt is married to Lezlie Geer of Woodland, CA and they have three children.