Meet the Team: Taj Johnson


Taj Johnson is the new Strategic Initiatives Associate for JPEF. He is a Miami,  native who moved to Jacksonville to pursue his education. Taj is a proud graduate of the University of North Florida, 2020, and Edward Waters University, 2022, Political Science and Master of Business Administration, respectively and is currently attending Liberty University where he is obtaining his PHD in Business Administration. Taj has previously worked at the University of North Florida, Metropolitan Aviation Authority, the Florida House of Representatives, and with the City of Jacksonville’s Kids Hope Alliance where he was involved with Research and Grants.

Tell us a little bit about you and how you came to JPEF.

I can recall first hearing about JPEF when I was a sophomore at the University of North Florida when Rachael become the President. Being that I am not a native of Jacksonville, FL, I was unaware of this organization. Through the years I would begin the learn more about the many non-profits in Jacksonville and JPEF stood out to me. In an effort to chase my passion with/in education, I used my transferrable skills to try and achieve to join the small but mighty team here at JPEF.

Why does public education matter to you personally?

Public education to me is a part of the foundation of our nation moving forward through segregation. If we examine the cross definitions between “resolve” and “disobedience” both require a reaction, and in this case to fight against one’s belief for a sound moral conscious. If it had not been for the notable supreme court case Brown v Education of 1954 and them violating the 14th amendment who knows how far behind my education would look like. So to me, public education should be the minimal foundation of one’s personal goal to be transparently taught and learn. 

Is there a teacher who made an impact on your life?

An impact is an understatement. I recall being in the 10th grade and my Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Jones- Roberts, truly pushed me beyond my own barriers. During that time, I was unsure about life, school and did not see much of my purpose. For one, I knew science was NOT my cup of tea, however, she took the time to personally get to know me and find the niche that I would grow to love. To this day, we keep in contact as I share my personal and professional achievements. My most memorable experience of our relationship is when I was facing explosion from my high school due to my academic performance. Mrs. Jones-Roberts sat me down with the school leadership at the time and vouched for me. She gave me the motivation to see and exceed my own potential that I did not know I possessed.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.