Jessica Johnson '11
BLAC would like to spotlight Jessica Johnson '11 of Middleburg Academy!!!
Jessica Johnson graduated from Middleburg Academy in 2011.
Jessica was born and raised in Northern Virginia. When she was 11 years old, she started playing basketball and immediately fell in love with the game. During the summer between fifth and sixth grade, Jessica participated in the co-ed basketball camp at Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, VA. Coach Mike Teasley took a liking to her game and told her “Jessica, you may not be able to understand this, but when you’re in high school you’re going to play here on my team.” Sure enough, they kept in contact and in her eighth-grade year, she decided to play basketball for Coach Teasley and join his girls’ basketball team at Notre Dame Academy. Though she didn’t get much playing time as a freshman on varsity, being part of the number 1 high school girls’ basketball team in the country was a tremendous learning experience that she still cherishes to this day.
What started as an opportunity to play basketball at a high level, evolved into Jessica also enjoying the chance to learn in a rigorous college-prep academic environment. Having grown up in the diverse Loudoun County school system, her transition to the predominately white Notre Dame Academy was quiet an adjustment. As a freshman, Jessica was one of only three African American students in her class of 60. Many of her white classmates had always gone to private schools with little to no students of color, so Jessica took this as an opportunity to reflect Black excellence and show these students something better than the stereotypes they saw on television. Soon after getting acclimated at Notre Dame, Jessica made lots of friends and had a wonderful four years with all her classmates. In her sophomore year, Notre Dame Academy stopped being a Catholic school, and became Middleburg Academy.
After graduating from Middleburg Academy, Jessica went off to college at Old Dominion University. During her four years as an ODU Monarch, she studied communications and marketing, did several internships, created and hosted two radio shows with the campus radio station WODU, and worked as a color commentator for ODU Men’s and Women’s basketball. Once she graduated from Old Dominion in 2015, she began her career in marketing.
Over the past few years as a Marketing Coordinator at BSI, Jessica has traveled around the United States, to Canada, and London doing the work she loves, supporting various teams and working with a diverse set of clients.
Aside from her role full-time at BSI, Jessica is the proud founder and owner of Divine Marketing Solutions, LLC, a boutique marketing agency that specializes in social media, email marketing, and creative strategy. Being an entrepreneur allows her to have creative freedom and help other small business owners solve their marketing challenges. As an avid WNBA fan, Jessica recently launched Hoop Love, a basketball podcast that talks all things WNBA.
When she reflects on her high school experience at a private independent school, Jessica has no doubt that the support she received from her parents, teachers, coaches, and other school staff set her up for success.