Skip to main content Skip to footer content
< Staff

Nakaya LaForte

Violence Prevention Educator, Teens on Target

Nakaya LaForte is a proud product of Oakland, having navigated its streets and educational system from a young age. Nakaya’s journey has been marked by resilience and a deep-rooted commitment to giving back to the city she calls home.

Motivated by her own experiences and the desire to be the support she needed as a youth, Nakaya found her calling working with young people. Witnessing the tragic loss of peers to gun violence during her high school years at McClymond’s High School fueled her determination to create a more positive narrative for Oakland’s youth.

She went to CSU East Bay and graduated in 2021 with BA in Criminal Justice. “I had good grades, I could have gone to a number of schools, I’ve traveled, but I wasn’t ready to leave. This is my home, this is where I’m comfortable. I also feel that my work needs to be here. I don’t want to go and serve another community when my community needs help,” shares Nakaya.

For Nakaya, “the work is so rewarding. I love that YA is a whole organization that is on the same mission which is driven out of love and community. TNT allows a broader way to support youth. It’s not limited. It’s not just workforce development or counseling, it can universally support people in different areas based on their needs. I came from a previous position in case management, which felt limiting to me.”

Something that’s important to know about Nakaya is that she is passionate about everything she does. “I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. I’m passionate about this work, but it doesn’t feel like work when you do what you love.”

After completing her B.A. in Criminal Justice from CSU East Bay in 2021, Nakaya could have pursued opportunities elsewhere, but her heart remained steadfastly tied to Oakland. Recognizing the urgent need for support within her own community, she chose to dedicate her talents and passion to uplifting Oakland’s youth.

Beyond her role as a violence prevention educator, Nakaya is also an entrepreneur, running her own skincare business called HoneyLove. Through this venture, she embodies her belief in the importance of self-care and empowerment.

For Nakaya, hope lies in the resilience and potential of Oakland’s youth. “Witnessing the transformation of young leaders who find strength and pride in their identity gives me faith in the future of our city.”

Headshot of Violence Prevention Educator, Teens on Target Nakaya LaForte