Changing lives by providing quality youth and community programs in STEAM+Ag, food production, nutrition, and physical activity in ESTL and beyond.


To become a nationally recognized innovation center that empowers youth and communities to grow through urban agriculture, food innovation, entrepreneurialism, and career readiness.

This project is the most important, exciting thing I’ve been involved in in 43 years of higher education.”

– Robert J. Jones, Chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.




We build upon the strengths of our three organizations united in our collective mission.


We are committed to celebrating our differences while building dignity, fairness, respect, equity, and caring in all we do.


We lead with integrity while taking a holistic approach to the management of resources guided by science.


We champion the importance of effective leadership and action while embracing transparency.


We are committed to celebrating our differences while building dignity, fairness, respect, equity, and caring in all we do.


Amy Funk, JJK FAN Director 
Email: afunk@jjkfoundation.org 
Phone: 618-515-5450 

Kurly Taylor, Strategic Partnership Manager 
Email: KTaylorJr@danforthcenter.org 

Chad Warner, Urban-Ag Coordinator 
Email:  ABrazelton@danforthcenter.org

Antonio Brazelton, Senior Research Partnership Coordinator 
Email: CWarner@danforthcenter.org  

Laquitsha Bejoile-Hayes, UIUC Extension/ACES Outreach Associate  
Email: Lb3@illinois.edu 

Grace Margherio, UIUC Extension 4-H Educator 
Email: gracem@illinois.edu

Tiffany Brown, JJK Foundation STEM Educator 
Email: tbrown@jjkfoundation.org 

Zach Stafford, Danforth STEAM+Ag Educator 
Email: ZStafford@danforthcenter.org

Andrew Grull, Lansdowne UP Grow Manager 
Email: andrewg@lansdowneup.org  

Reach out to us

Our Leadership Committee 

  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee, JJK Foundation Founder and CEO; JJK FAN Founder and JJK FAN Co-Chair
  • Dr. Kim Kidwell, UIUC Associate Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives and JJK FAN Co-Chair
  • Mark Scholl, J and M Scholl, Inc.
  • Dr. Kris Callis-Duehl, DDPSC Executive Director of Education
  • Mark Mestemacher, Lansdowne UP Board President & JJK Foundation Board Member

Our Advisory Committee

  • David Bruns, UIUC Senior Executive Director of Principal Gifts
  • Lecia Rives, Esq. JJK Foundation COO
  • Laquitsha Bejoile-Hayes, UIUC Extension/College of ACES Extension Outreach Associate
  • Mark Fryer, JJK Foundation CFO
  • Michelle Sherod, JJK Foundation Board President
  • Stephanie Regagnon, DDPSC Executive Director, Innovation Partnerships