Wood, Paula

Executive Director of Success In Challenges





An oral history with Paula Wood, the Executive Director of Success In Challenges, a nonprofit grassroots social service agency that serves the Long Beach community. This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton. The purpose of this interview was to gather information regarding her community involvement and investment in Successes In Challenges. Specifically, this interview details her childhood in Michigan, Oregon, and California; her father’s work with the Urban League; her mother’s career in education from a teacher to a high school counselor; parents’ activism in civil rights, including her father’s participation in rallies and meeting with leaders like Julian Bond, former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who helped establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and Roy Wilkins, former NAACP executive director and participant in the 1963 March on Washington, the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches, and the 1966 March Against Fear; her mother’s activism in church and Alpha Kappa Alpha; her parents’ religious backgrounds; her involvement in Holman United Methodist Church and Jack and Jill of America; discusses earning her Bachelor’s in Sociology and starting her Master’s at Cal State University, San Jose; working with Oakland Parks and Recreation, United Way, and Children’s Home Society; reflects on how she and her husband started a church in North Long Beach and a nonprofit called Keys to Success, now known as Successes in Challenges, in 2001 to increase literacy abilities of youth in their community; how Children Defense Fund’s Freedom School was incorporated into the nonprofit in 2005; describes Minty and Me, a leadership mentoring program started by the church; discusses retirement and hopes for the program’s future; gives advice to young women interested in community service; reflects on her life and passion for the church and nonprofit.


Field Value
File Name 5625_P01.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 895321
Description> Paula Wood, 2015.