Qiana Patterson


SCA 1993 Seattle Community Program

This year the Northwest Community program is celebrating 30 years of community programming and conservation service to the Puget Sound area. We’re reaching out to our SCA members throughout our history to reconnect and find out where they’re at today. Our first conversation is with Qiana Patterson, ’93 Seattle Community Program alumna and now Chief Operations Officer at Edlio, a Los Angeles based educational software platform provider.  

Qiana is pictured above; seated 3rd from left with her SCA crew at Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie in 1993.

A former teacher, Qiana taught middle school for five years before becoming the dean at John Burroughs Middle School, one of the most diverse and academically enriched middle schools within Los Angeles Unified School District. She has a deep understanding of schools and current technology trends, which she picked up during her tenure with Educational Networks. 

Running the operational aspects of the company she has her eyes, ears and fingers on its pulse. She has mastered the fine art of working alongside cranky tenacious programmers, highly disorganized graphic design geniuses, boisterous sales men and women, fearless web developers and a whole host of very opinionated eaters. Direct and to the point she likes to solve problems and empower others to do the same. 

When she is not listening, observing, refining and adapting within Edlio, she takes time to speak at schools, run half marathons and climb mountains. A Seattle native, she relishes the outdoors and secretly wishes she could bring Mt. Rainier to California with her. Armed with a dslr camera she captures her life’s greatest moments and writes about them on her frequent trips across the country. 

Her road has been the less traveled one, but when asked by former students why she left teaching, she replied simply that she knew she loved teaching but wanted to know if she was better at something else. Paired with her passion for education and her adaptability she indeed found better.  


Qiana Patterson, Trailblazer

SCA Field Site: Mt. Baker-Snoqualime- Watson Lake Trail head

Year Served: 1993

Hometown: Seattle, WA

What are you doing now? COO of Edlio, a Ed-Tech Software company based in Los Angeles. I make sure each division runs cohesively and smoothly.

What are some of your accomplishments and recent awards? Ha! Running my first Half Marathon! Being accepted to USC Marshall School of Business this past summer.

Why did you decide to join the SCA? Stacy Noland, he visited my school and he inspired me… he made me believe it was worthwhile and possible for a little brown girl like me to be a part of conservation.

Describe your favorite SCA Experience? A mental and physical exercise in toughness. The final week was the best, our week long hike might have seemed brutal after 5 weeks of grueling trail work, but in looking back I cannot imagine doing anything better. The cover picture is me sitting exhausted after a long hike. My fellow team members wouldn’t let me quit though, they encouraged and supported me through it all.

What did you learn during your time with the SCA? It’s possible to do anything, trust my team and never be afraid of a little dirt and sweat.

How is your SCA experience still relevant in your life today? The idea of ‘Giving back’ seems so cliche at times, but I really feel like along with other experiences I had as a young person, my experience with SCA cemented how important, no matter what I do or where I go, how important preserving our vital natural resources is. It’s so much better being instilled with this set of values as a young person; it turns into a lifelong commitment and awareness.  

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