Meet The Director

Chisha Johnson, Founder and Executive Director

Chisha Johnson is the Founder and Executive Director of The Jacaranda Center for Family and Youth Development, Inc. in Columbia Maryland and has over 30 years of experience working with families and Youth in the USA and in Zambia, Southern Africa. 

Prior to founding the Jacaranda Center, Chisha worked as the Community Training Coordinator for the Horizon Foundation’s county-wide CONNECTIONS initiative and was the Children’s Ministry Director for Celebration Church in Columbia, Maryland. She was also a founding member, teacher and curriculum specialist for the Celebration Christian Academy.

Chisha Johnson holds a B.A. Degree in Development Studies from Wellesley College and a M.S. Degree in Organizational Leadership from Nyack College. A Thomas J. Watson Fellow, she is a seasoned family strengthening and youth development advocate, trainer and conference speaker. Her scope of work focuses on bringing evidence based research and frameworks to the work of family strengthening, positive youth development and poverty alleviation.

She is a seasoned mentor and Developmental Asset trainer, HIV/AIDS instructor, and certified youth program quality external assessor (YPQA). She received her Advancing Youth Development (AYD) training from ACT for Youth Center of Excellence, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University. Chisha is also a “Getting Ahead™ in a Just-Gettin’-By World” facilitator. The Getting Ahead™ program is the main component of the “Bridges Out of Poverty” Framework.

Having worked with numerous government, non-profit and community agencies and organizations, Chisha Johnson brings a wealth of family strengthening and community development experience to the work of human development and thriving.