La’Kista Coleman started with Success Centers Western Addition Career Center 14 months ago as Regional Job Developer and has been recommended by her peers for this esteemed honor. In this role, La’Kista focuses on assisting community members with resources including employment, informational sessions about community engagement that impacts them, and remains in tune with the pulse of the neighborhoods. She’s also taken on the responsibilities of Outreach Coordinator, where she represents Success Centers at job fairs, employer spotlights, tabling events, in community meetings, and creating events.
La’Kista is a Western Addition native and grew up in the West Side housing projects. With influence from her mother and grandmother, she developed a nurturing personality. She holds in her heart and her daily work the mantra from her grandmother “Jesus made us all to love everyone.”
While attending Hilltop High School pregnant minors’ program, two counselors saw beyond La’Kista’s tough exterior, motivated and encouraged her to not be discouraged by her current circumstances and reach for her dreams. Tyra Herr and Pat Keehan were instrumental in helping La’Kista expand her culinary and computer literacy skills. Pat gave La’Kista her first job (creating an obituary) and later hired her to be the programs Special Education Paraprofessional. For 10 years, La’Kista stayed in that role that formed and developed her professional work ethic. In 1996 she was referred to the San Francisco Youth Commission where, after numerous interviews, she was selected by Commissioner Michael Yaki as one of San Francisco’s 1st Youth Commissioners; she sat on the Juvenile Board, voted on and passed initiatives to the mayor for approvals.
After graduating from Bryman College as a Certified Medical Assistant, La’Kista worked at the San Francisco Golden Gate Planned Parenthood on Eddy Street where she became the “Train the Trainer”, which allowed her to train physicians to perform multiple medical procedures and limited ultrasounds. She loved the small intimate family like environment of this organization and remained there for 10 years. When that site closed, La’Kista took her talents to Goodwill and worked as a front desk intern at the Comprehensive Access Point Center. It soon became apparent that La’Kista possessed skills beyond that role, and she was quickly promoted to Career Advisor where she case managed the Young Adult Court (YAC) program. She opened the Goodwill Career Center (located at CASC Center) and furthered her role as court liaison for people on probation to help with employment and community-based needs. Throughout La’Kista’s career, she’s remained an advocate for people without a voice, and is passionate about breaking down barriers and silos to form community work as an integral part of a team.
In La’Kista’s spart time, you can catch her roller-skating at Golden Gate Park in one of her over 100 Adidas assembles. She has well over 300 pairs of tennis shoes and has closet space in various locations, outside of her home, that she shares with her husband and 12-year-old daughter (the youngest of 3). La’Kista became a grandmother for the first time just over a year ago.
On behalf of the staff at Success Centers, join us in congratulating Lakista on this much deserved acknowledgement of her work ethic, leadership and teamwork.