All three leaders of Mission Scholars have dedicated much of their careers to education and specifically to helping promote educational equality among underserved populations.

Cassie Lancaster

Executive Director

Cassie Lancaster, our Executive Director, has been a private college admissions counselor for the past decade. During this time, she volunteered her time and expertise for teachers and counselors who worked with low-income students, and she provided her individual services on a pro bono basis to several first-generation college applicants. Cassie holds a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and a Master of Arts from UCSB. She is the author of The College Essay Trap and the founder of College Specific, a company in Santa Barbara that provides students and their families with private college admissions counseling.

Katie Kinsella

Director of Marketing & Community Outreach

Katie Kinsella, our Director of Marketing & Community Outreach, is a Fulbright Scholar with a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA and a Masters of Education from UCSD where she specialized in working with low-income bilingual youth. She taught middle school in southern California and has implemented college promotion programs across South America. Katie has devoted her career to helping underrepresented Latino communities reach their full potential and thrive in school and life. She enjoys using her passion to help Santa Barbara produce more college graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds, each of whom can have a major impact on their family and community as a whole.

Kim Phillips

Mission Scholars Advisor

Kim Phillips, a Mission Scholars advisor, is a graduate of Williams College and Harvard Business School. She is a Board Member and Ambassador for The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, as well as the International Federation of MS Societies. Kim also serves as a Trustee for the Main Idea Charitable Trust, which is financially dedicated to a residential summer camp program that provides economically disadvantaged girls with life-changing camp experiences. In addition, she has provided private, standardized test preparation to students in the Santa Barbara community, many of whom have been pro bono, first-generation college aspirants.