Barry University student Justin Pinn appointed as national afterschool ambassador

Barry University student Justin Pinn appointed as national afterschool ambassador

Barry University student Justin Pinn has been appointed by the Afterschool Alliance as a national afterschool ambassador. Pinn is earning his Doctorate of Education in Organizational Learning and Leadership from the University’s Adrian Dominican School of Education.

As part of the one-year ambassadorship, Pinn, who is from Ohio, will represent and advocate for afterschool programs around the country, including in the U.S. Congress and in Florida. Pinn, 27, went through an application process in which he was recommended by peers and then selected by the Afterschool Alliance.

In addition to attending Barry, Pinn works at Breakthrough Miami as a program coordinator and STEM Academy director. Breakthrough Miami is an eight-year, tuition-free, academic enrichment program that provides 1,200 motivated middle and high school students from underserved communities with the tools they need to achieve their most ambitious goals.

“I’m working to ensure that an education is not only accessible to Miami’s most underserved, but that this population has the ability to rise to their true potential and overcome systemic barriers and inequity,” Pinn said. “Barry University is positioning me to extend the ladder in which I am climbing, because I was once in the shoes of the students I have the great honor of serving and partnering with every day.” 

Pinn came to Miami and served as a Teach for America corps member after graduating as a first-generation student from Georgetown University. He taught high school chemistry and received a Master of Science in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University. In the classroom, Pinn worked to provide mentorship, community opportunities, jobs and internships for his students. He also launched an unofficial mentorship program in which 20 of his students received full-ride scholarships, two through the Posse Foundation.

Pinn is a founding board member of the Nyah Project, which helps inner-city students undergo international human factor leadership workshops and gives them an opportunity to work with community leaders. Additionally, he works as a trainer/facilitator to help students find beauty and power within their personal story, despite any obstacles they are currently facing.

“Justin is a motivated student with a thirst for knowledge. He has distinguished himself already as a doctoral student through his writing, research and class projects,” said Dr. Vivian Posey, assistant professor of educational leadership. “His professors have frequently commented on his positive nature, spirit of collaboration and outstanding communication skills. Though Justin is not a native to Miami, the community has been enriched by his contributions and his ability to be a change maker.”