Rachel Stephenson was born in 1976 and grew up in New Orleans, LA.
Rachel was raised by her paternal grandmother, Ruth, after her mother’s death in 1981. She spent her early years performing in community theater and high school musicals and graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School as valedictorian in 1994.
Rachel attended college at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in English in 1998. While in college, she discovered Joan Didion and nonfiction writing.
After college, Rachel moved to New York City to attend Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing in 2001.
Rachel is an educator, administrator, and writer. She has worked as a classroom teacher and as a program director for small and large non-profits in NYC, and for the past 7 years she has worked for The City University of New York designing and implementing innovative, high-performing programs focused on civic engagement, workforce development, and youth development for a range of inspiring CUNY students. Launching the CUNY Service Corps in 2013 is one of her proudest professional accomplishments.
Rachel is married with three daughters and lives in NYC.
[TEDxCUNY, November 2015]