Joy King

Joy King

Managing Director

Per Scholas

Silver Spring, MD USA

How we look doesn’t preclude us from having an experience that we want to have.


By Roadtrip Nation

Joy King


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was raised on the South Side of Chicago—my parents did their best to expose me and my brother to access and opportunities outside of our hometown.
I was a good student, got good grades, and stuck with those themes of exposure, access, and opportunity by becoming classically trained in ballet and taking Japanese throughout high school.
I went away to New York for college but I struggled to adapt to life on my own, so I ended up dropping out and moving back to Chicago after two years.
After moving back home, I had to take a job in a back office with disgruntled co-workers and knew I didn’t want to be stuck like that.
I decided to go back to school at DePaul University and was determined to graduate at the same time as my former class, so I took 15 classes per year and worked two jobs through school.
I spent 10 years teaching in Chicago and got my master’s degree to become a school principal, but I eventually became disillusioned with the school system and moved to D.C. for other opportunities.
I got into nonprofit work and had the opportunity to work for many great causes, including college access, literacy programming, and childhood hunger.
Now I work as the managing director for Per Scholas, a nonprofit organization that teaches technical and business skills to individuals and connects them to career opportunities.
Keep following my journey


High School
Secondary Education and Teaching
DePaul University
Educational Administration
Governors State University
Preparing for Executive Leadership
Learning Tree International
Organizational Development Professional
Institute of Organizational Development


Managing Director

I lead a team to advance IT training program and shape an innovative workforce development approach.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Day to Day

I serve as the face of Per Scholas in the National Capital Region, representing Per Scholas in regional conferences, meetings, and media opportunities. I develop and lead our local fundraising strategy as well as the implementation of our annual operating plan. I lead a team and facilitate regular performance management, professional development, and team meetings. I also prepare, manage, and grow the annual program budget.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Shadow someone in the field through an internship or summer job. Talk to people and network. Remember to be polished and professional.


The Noise I Shed

"Are you sure that's what you want to do? There's no way you're going to succeed at that."

Challenges I Overcame

School Stress