My Origin Story: Jessica Lynch, Partner
I'm from Alamance County which is a predominantly rural county in North Carolina. In a way, I come from a long history of entrepreneurship. My great-grandparents and grandparents were sharecroppers, farmers and eventually landowners, despite the legal and financial barriers they faced as black farmers in the South. This changed the trajectory of my life before I was even thought about. Growing up, I’ve watched the ups and down of entrepreneurs. My family members owned small businesses, including an electrical construction company, a computer service company, and dental / medical practices. From watching my family, I learned the value of hard work, resiliency, and community. As I’ve had different career experiences including working at Deloitte Consulting and the Obama Foundation, I’ve always thought about the impact of my work in communities like mine.
Growing up I never thought I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I knew I wanted to make sure people in communities like Alamance County had access to pursue their passions. In high school, I attended a residential public school for science and math. It was at this juncture that I learned how defining skin color combined and someone’s zip code could be in a person’s ability to have economic mobility. I remember thinking about the changing economy in my own state but even more about the barriers that prevented many displaced manufacturing workers in North Carolina from starting new businesses in growing industries like tech and clean energy. After graduating, I worked as a college adviser in Greensboro, North Carolina. I saw the creativity and ingenuity of so many students who were close to my age and spent hours with students on college applications, FAFSA applications, and planning college visits. Some of my hardest days were hearing the disappointment in a students voice who felt they couldn't pursue their dreams.
I went back to graduate school to study public policy and to better understand how to address systems like public education. After graduate school, I worked as consultant at Deloitte for clients in the federal government, philanthropy, and education sectors. I worked on strategic plans, KPI dashboards, and operating plans and became effective at solving problems. These skills were a critical foundation in the next phase of my career with My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBKA).
As Deputy Director of Operations and Strategy at MBKA, I was fortunate to use my skills to help build an organization committed to ensuring boys and young men of color have an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential in our country. Through this work, I was able to meet young people across the country at various Opportunity Summits with limitless potential given the right resources.
As the demographics of our country change, I believe that it is critical that we also change the way we invest, support and provide capital to spur the next generation of innovators and leaders. With Generation Titans, I hope to be part of the solution to increase investments in entrepreneurs of color which will ultimately strengthen and improve communities across the country.