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Dr. Cheryl B. Oakman

Adjunct Professor, Urban Studies Department

Director, Center for Youth Development at United Way of Southeastern PA


DR. CHERYL OAKMAN was responsible for establishing the Center for Youth Development (CYD) at United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania in 1998 as a youth development quality improvement/professional development initiative. Since that time CYD has been folded into the fabric of the organization, and Dr. Oakman oversees United Way’s Graduation for All older youth education goal and strategies to help youth in middle school and high school who are at high risk of dropping out to graduate from high school (or earn a high school credential if they have already dropped out) and acquire the skills necessary for post-secondary education. She serves as Adjunct Faculty at Eastern University where she teaches Programming for Youth Development and Resource Development in the MA in Urban Studies Program. Dr. Oakman is also Superintendent of the Youth Ministry at the New Psalmist Baptist Church; is chairperson of the Program Planning and Development and Grant Writing Committee of the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; and serves on several other professional, public service, and social organizations as well as on numerous boards and advisory committees.


Dr. Oakman earned her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research in 2000 with an emphasis on policy formation and program development, as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership. She has a  Master’s Degree in Social Work from Temple University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Oakman has over 30 years of experience in the youth services field with expertise as a licensed clinical social worker and a certified youth employability life skills educator. She also has experience in policy planning and program development; grant writing; training and curriculum development; quality program improvement; and capacity-building with out-of-school time, mentoring, and child welfare programs.


Dr. Oakman has been married to Steven Charles Oakman for close to 25 years, and while she and her husband have no biological children of their own, they have both accepted a life calling from the Lord to mentor and serve other people’s children, and together they enjoy 4 Godchildren, 6 Great-Godchildren, and 2 adopted cats.


Dr. Cheryl B. Oakman

Director, Center for Youth Development

United Way of Southeastern PA

Seven Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Philadelphia, PA 19103

(p) (215) 665-2559

(f) (215) 665-2557



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