Jessie Stewart believes high quality education is critical to community health and transformation, and brings over a decade of experience at the intersection of education and community development to the Richmond Promise. As Executive Director, Jessie provides leadership, fundraising, program coordination, and budget administration for the Richmond Promise Program. This includes building effective partnerships with community stakeholders and promoting a culture of collaboration and communication around a common vision for becoming a community where all Richmond young people experience a high quality education and graduate with the skills, resources and efficacy for college success.
Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, home of the groundbreaking Kalamazoo Promise, and educated in Kalamazoo Public Schools, Jessie knows great things can happen when a college-going culture becomes an ethos of a city. Prior to joining The Promise, Jessie served as National Director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities + Schools award-winning Y-PLAN (Youth-Plan, Learn, Act Now) Educational Initiative. As Y-PLAN National Director, Jessie built cross-sector partnerships and systems to engage schools and young people in a range of city and education policy issues across the nation. In this role, Jessie worked here in Richmond and the WCCUSD with city, school, district, community and business partners to plan and implement various projects with students and teachers at Kennedy, De Anza, and Richmond High. Jessie began her career in education as a founding high school history teacher at Golder College Prep in Chicago, IL where she had the privilege of handing out diplomas to the school’s first graduating class.