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Charissa townsend

Charissa Townsend

Vice President of Youth Programs and Recognition, Points of Light

Charissa Townsend currently serves as Vice President of Youth and Recognition Programs at Points of Light, a global nonprofit with a 30-year bipartisan presidential legacy that seeks to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. Previously, she served in the New York City Office of the Mayor as executive director of the NYC Young Men’s Initiative. She also served as policy advisor in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives on afterschool, higher ed, and nonprofit policy issues.

Her career focus for the past 20 years has been on out of school and out of work youth, experiential education, and social justice. She has completed this work with various universities, nonprofits, and other community-based groups, including New York Cares, Single Stop USA, University of Illinois, and Northwestern University. She received her B.A. in Sociology and M.S. Community Resource Development, both from Michigan State University. In her spare time, she enjoys writing fiction and creative non-fiction.

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