Bigger Than Me Foundation (BTMF) was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization in the Fall of 2011. Founder, CEO and board Chair Jennifer Ollie began to develop BTMF while working with young adults throughout the Chicagoland area. Originally working with young adults seeking employment and post-secondary education opportunities, Ollie identified her passion of working more intricately with high school students during the transition from adolescent to adulthood.
Hailing from the city’s south side, Jennifer Ollie is no stranger when it comes to providing youth with a different perspective on life. “I’ve always felt indebted to give back to inner city youth because programs just like this one have helped paved the way for the woman you see today.” Having attained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign in Broadcast Journalism, Ollie began to assess the visibility and availability for youth programs in Chicago. Seeking more direct experience with the teen population, Ollie has been working as a College & Career Counselor for Chicago Public Schools on Chicago’s south side. In hopes of starting BTMF and gaining more momentum within the field of youth development, Ollie has recently obtained her Masters in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling from Governors State University.
There’s much to say about Jennifer Ollie. “When I first thought about this idea about how to reach out to high school students, I always envisioned it being something bigger than myself.” Those words soon took flight and thus Bigger Than Me was born.