TFA Graduate Fellows Program

Cohort 2

JJ Townsend

Master of Education in Educational Administration & Supervision

JJ is most alive when creating projects that connect people to their local government, advocate for schools, encourage empathy for the natural world, and amplify the voice of the oppressed.

Growing up on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast in Long Beach, MS awakened JJ Townsend to community resilience, adapt to situations, and fascinated him to fix things broken. Founding a student-led advertising agency during his sophomore year at Ole Miss business school made him acutely aware of the importance of cross-functional team leadership, creativity, and having a clear vision and goals to reach desired outcomes.

Teach for America allowed JJ to build the confidence, mind, and pride of the future leaders of Jackson, MS which has fueled his belief that a growth mindset can both prolifically speak to and catalyze extraordinary achievements. He continues to teach 5th grade Reading/Language Arts at the same school in Jackson where he did his TFA commitment.

JJ currently runs Citizen JXN, a crowdfunding platform for civic projects in Jackson, MS. Citizen JXN make ideas accessible and spark action by connecting great community projects to grant makers, businesses, and people who want to fund them by providing a portal where people with ideas can build support from the community, ensure their plans are viable, and share the impact they’ve made. For the partner organizations (councils, companies, and grant-makers) it’s a powerful way to attract, support, and showcase projects they love. For regular folks, it’s a way to share ideas, collaborate with neighbors, and get their community projects fully funded. JJ falls asleep at night dreaming about the infinite possibilities for Mississippi.

Fun Fact: JJ is a Bob Dylan aficionado.