Raionna Thompson’s motto is: “Education is the key to everything.”
As Larkin Street Youth Services’ Associate Director of Education, she leads our learning centers,
programs, and academic support team.
She is ready to help young people unlock any door they are ready to walk through.
“I’ve always taken education very seriously but I also understand it’s not easily accessible to
everyone. I support breaking down any barriers that exist and helping our youth see that they
have all of the tools they need to be successful in education. And being able to help youth
explore and be connected to resources and helping them along that pathway is great.”

There are currently 70 young people in our education programs.
Many are trying to get their GEDs, applying to colleges, or taking classes on managing day to
day finances.
They come here to find a future.
“I want to make as much change as I can, I am the advocate for change. We’re not here to help
anyone else but the youth that we’re serving. If we’re not helping the youth that are here then
we’re not doing what we’re supposed to.”

Education is motivation for wanting more.
More job opportunities, more stability, more housing options, and more hope.
“The biggest part that I love about this job is being able to advocate for the youth that we
interact with on a level with those who may not necessarily know the youth we are working
with today. This is honestly, my dream job.”

As a first-generation college student and the first in her family to go to college and complete a
degree, Raionna is a role model. She gives this job her all. But her position here is not without
its challenges. It’s the hardest, most rewarding career she’s ever had.
“The hardest part about my job is separating my emotions from the day-to-day work that we
do. It can get really challenging when you know there are limitations to the services we provide.
And that’s really hard because you want to give young people everything they need.”

Raionna started with Larkin Street Youth Services in 2020.
She plans to stay for a very, very long time.