Name: Jovian Irvin | Director of Talent Recruitment for Teach for America|
As Director of Talent Recruitment and Strategy for Teach For America, Jovian spends her time working with the corps members (teachers), alumni, and people external to the organization. She assists them in learning more about ways they can continue to stay engaged in Teach for America’s movement of education reform and closing the achievement gap, without necessarily being in the classroom. She helps these members transition into either leadership positions within the organization, become school administrators, or transform their personal goals to cater to low-income areas.
She got started in a career in Marketing at Black and Decker, and after giving the company three years, she found herself at a pivotal place where she knew she wanted her career to change lives, feeling as if her work and personal goals were not aligned. Ironically, her roommate at the time was a Corps Member for Teach for America. Watching her roommates dedication, listening to the different stories about her 2nd grade students, and witnessing the lives she was changing, was so compelling to Jovian that it reminded her of the impact that she should have on others. This is what lead her to her current position as Director of Talent Recruitment.
As one of the co-host of the radio show “Thats what we say”, Jovian can’t help but laugh as she reflects on how much fun she has hosting this show. The topics include everything from “sex to the White House”, covering specific areas such as love, news, pop culture, education, and music. The show is currently in the reforming stage, and we can expect more from the radio show in the near future.
Her personal blog “Word up, Haay” focuses on the random episodes of New York, the stories that one sees, and the life lessons that are learned. The blog is a mixture of encouragement, knowledge sharing, music, and her thoughts on current events. As for now, the blog serves as a form of freedom and a great way to continue to hone her voice.
She is a fan of artist such as Janelle Monae and Broken Bells, writers such as David Brooks and Neta Jackson, people committed to service such as Monica Dennis, and photographer Nastassia Davis.
Her first jobs helped cultivate her gift of leadership and entrepreneurship. Her first business was a laundry delivery service in her home that she started at the age of 7, where she would charge family members to fold and deliver their clothes. Her first real pay-check came from working in the kitchen of an assisted living home.
Her penchant for leadership began at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she earned her B.A. in Psychology, and led a host of diverse on-campus groups, uniting students across racial and ethnic boundaries. Jovian solidified her legacy at Chapel Hill by becoming the first African American woman to be elected Senior Class President. During her tenure, she worked with students, faculty, and administration to create the inaugural Senior Class Address.
People might be surprised to know that she climbed the Great Wall of China and got to body roll with Prince.
She Advises people “don’t compromise the vision that you have for yourself for your fears.” God has given you a vision for what you want to do, write it out, and learn how to articulate it. You want to be able to express your goals so that others might be able to help you reach them in the future.
What we can expect in the future is for Jovian to continue to write and expand the amount of publications that she writes for. She looks forward to working with the Wondaland Arts Society and playing a key-role in the re-launch of its online publication. She is interested in becoming a senior leader on the Teach for America marketing team. Jovian feels as if she lives a double life, spending part of her time watering her creative side, and the other continuing to stay involved in education and changing the lives of others. We are eager to see how she merges the two!