TFA Graduate Fellows Program

Cohort 3

Whitney Christenson

Education Specialist in Elementary Education

Greenwood, MS


Whitney Christenson was born and raised in the small town of Dayton, Oregon. She graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education from Warner Pacific College in 2015. In 2017 she graduated from Concordia College, Portland with a M.Ed in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education and a minor in Mathematics Education. Whitney moved to Mississippi in 2015 and has taught second grade for the past three years. She currently is working at Turnrow books in Greenwood, Mississippi and pursuing her Ed.S in Elementary Education at Delta State.

Whitney’s career goal is to eradicate child exploitation and oppression through an entity linked to education. Her social venture aims to do just that. Whitney is in works of opening a non-profit coffee shop that employs 16-21 year old students who are at risk or have dropped out of high school. This coffee shop will "allow young people to come to work with us while building skills that will help them come closer to finding their calling and passions, all the while building up a space that invites community and hard conversations." In turn of their 6-, 9- or 12-month internship they will be gaining soft skills, hard skills and academic preparation and support. At the completion of their commitment each student will walk away with a college scholarship/life stipend to encourage continuing education. Whitney believes there is a great potential for the youth in her community and is working on building a network of advocates to partner in maximizing their potential.

Fun Fact: Whitney’s first social venture happened at the age of 11. It was called Pennies for Paws.

Like wildflowers you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people never thought you would.
— E.V.

Harrison Wood