Alexander Joujan was born in Zambia and moved with his mother and siblings to Chattanooga, Tennessee, as a child, after the loss of his father. “I grew to admire my mom, who modeled perseverance and faith as she raised four children on her own.” By high school, Alex realized that his life and dual US-Canadian citizenship had given him a unique identity. “I am an African American Southern Canadian Yankee.”
As an undergraduate at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Alex worked at The Caring Place, an after-school tutoring program that sparked his interest in teaching. For four years he coordinated his college’s involvement in the program and taught part-time as he directed new learning opportunities for youth. “Each year, I strove to increase the outreach and impact of the tutoring program. By my senior year, I knew that I wanted to pursue a teaching career.”
After graduating from Muhlenberg, Alex enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania’s urban-focused teaching program and earned his teaching certificate and a master’s degree in education. “I am grateful for Penn’s fast-paced, intense program.” When he is away from school, Alex enjoys playing Frisbee, working on various home renovation projects, and spending time with his wife, Lauren, and daughter, Chloe.
Knowles made it possible for me to return to my birthplace of Zambia and teach in various schools there. Witnessing my Zambian students’ passion for learning invigorated me.