Emani Jerome

Director of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, StartUP FIU

For several years, Emani Jerome worked for City Year Miami where he held several positions and worked in the Little Haiti, Overtown, Liberty City and North Miami communities. During that time, he managed teams of AmeriCorps members while they executed an academically rigorous intervention program in several high-need middle and high schools focusing on addressing poor attendance, behavior, and course performance in reading and math. As City Year Miami’s Learning and Development Manager, he developed deeply collaborative relationships with organizations across Miami to help train and educate the site’s 212 AmeriCorps members.
From there, Emani worked as the Assistant Director of the Center for Leadership and Service at Florida International University where he oversaw the student engagement portion of the university’s social innovation strategy. This included overseeing a civic engagement mini-grant awarded to students to help fund community service projects in Miami, as well as a social entrepreneurship competition where students could pitch ideas for social ventures and receive mentorship and funding opportunities from a diverse range of industry professionals.
Emani was the Miami Associate with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation where he helped oversee a $4.7M budget focused on building Miami’s innovation sector. Most recently, Emani returned to FIU to spearhead the university’s Ashoka Changemaker Initiative as the new Director of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship for StartUP FIU.
Emani is passionate about connecting marginalized communities to opportunities that stimulate long-term cultural and economic growth.