Prior to joining the Steans Family Foundation, Jennifer served as the Executive Director of Advancement at Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.), an Evanston-based non-profit that provides out-of-school-time programming for youth in grades 3-12 at 10 high-need schools, along with providing community-based mental health services. For 21 years, Jennifer worked at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning on Chicago’s west side. This community-based organization serves children from birth through age 18 through a host of early learning and youth development program models. Jennifer assumed progressively-responsible roles during her time at the Carole Robertson Center—starting as a graduate school intern working directly with teens, later leading all fundraising and communications efforts, and ending her service as Chief of Staff, managing a host of strategic projects across programs and administration and working closely with the Board of Directors. Jennifer began her career in the early childhood field working in toddler’s, preschool, and Head Start classrooms.
Jennifer holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Virginia and an A.M. from the University of Chicago’s Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. When not at work, Jennifer can be found in Evanston reading a good book, walking her dog, volunteering for local educational equity efforts, and—most of all—enjoying time with her two kids, Jocelyn and Janelle.