Jasmine Terry Okafor ’09

jasmine-t-okafor-09_large.jpgJasmine Terry Okafor ’09 knew she wanted to pursue theology and philanthropy, but on the cusp of graduating from Agnes Scott as a Religion and Social Justice major, she was not sure how to combine her academic focus with her already impressive professional experiences. With the help of an Agnes Scott faculty member, Okafor won the prestigious Jessie Ball duPont Fund  Fellowship that launched her vocation of service.

While a student at Agnes Scott, Okafor gained hands-on experience working with underserved communities in Atlanta through the organizations Forever Family, Strong Sisters and the Economic Empowerment Initiative. She helped Forever Family with their mission, to serve children with incarcerated parents, providing practical and emotional support for families.

On campus, Okafor was a part of Strong Sisters, Agnes Scott’s mentoring program at Decatur High School, which then focused on teen mothers at risk of dropping out of school. It was at the Economic Empowerment Initiative that she worked with a gift officer, seeing how a non-profit operates from day to day .

“I knew I wanted to go to seminary, but I wasn’t ready after graduation,” Okafor said.

Then, Tom Will, The Kathy '68 and Lawrence Ashe Associate Professor of Business Management, sent her the perfect opportunity, a fellowship with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

“As soon as I read the job description, I knew that this was for me,” she said. “[The Fund] values liberal arts education and exposing fellows to the non-profit sector.”

During her two years at the foundation, Okafor led the Fund’s energy conservation grant-making initiative for small liberal arts colleges. She also learned about the work of non-profits around the country supported by the foundation, and completed the Georgetown University Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program as part of her fellowship.

With the tools she learned at the foundation, Okafor found her ability to create a career path at the intersection of ministry and philanthropy.

“I would have never had the fellowship opportunity without Agnes Scott’s relationship with the duPont Fund.”

Jasmine Terry Okafor graduated with a Master of Divinity degree at the Emory University Candler School of Theology with a certificate in Women, Theology & Ministry, and a concentration in Justice, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation. She works as the Development Specialist for the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), a multi-cultural, multi-faith organization devoted to providing education and improving the quality of ministry and pastoral care offered by spiritual caregivers of all faiths. In her role, Okafor responsible for all things fundraising —from running the annual fund and grants to planned giving and event sponsorship. She is at the heart of a growing field, where community and faith come together to serve those in need.