Project Director for the Bexar County Fostering Educational Success
Airika Buford is a dedicated macro practice social worker with over twelve years of experience in child welfare case management, program development, nonprofit management, outreach, recruitment, and retention of underserved populations. Mrs. Buford has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wayne State University and an MSW from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and was a Community-Based Initiative Scholar focusing on Community Organizing in Communities and Social Systems. She has macro practice experience in community organizing in urban settings, program evaluation & policy analysis, and expert knowledge in advocacy, quantitative and qualitative research, and data analysis. Ms. Buford’s research, practice, and policy interests include improving the educational trajectory of system-involved (foster and juvenile justice) youth, especially boys and young men of color. Airika worked for 4 1/2 years as a Foster Care Specialist for the State of Michigan in Macomb County and then served as the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the CHAMPS Program at Wayne State University for five years.
Currently, Ms. Buford is the Project Director for the Bexar County Fostering Educational Success Program in San Antonio, Texas. BCFES, now in its second biennium of a $3.5M legislative appropriation, aimed to improve pre-college preparation, college access, and higher education retention for students with lived experience in foster care. Airika is a proud mother of three kids, Rashid Jr. (10), Airik (8), and Akira (3). They are her greatest motivators and fuel her passion for child welfare and equitable access to higher education for BIPOC.