Jodi Rosenbaum is the Founder and CEO of More Than Words.
More Than Words (MTW) is a non-profit, social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. By working as a team to manage their own retail and online used book business, cafe, and community space, youth develop the employment skills, leadership, and self-confidence they need to successfully transition to adulthood. In addition to store-based job training, youth are engaged in personal transition planning and case management to support educational goals and concrete plans for their future education, work and life. The MTW model is premised on the belief that when at-risk youth are challenged with authentic and increasing responsibilities in a business setting, and have high expectations and a culture of support, they can and will address their personal barriers, create concrete action plans for their lives, and become thriving members of society.
Jodi has more than 20 years of experience working with youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, public schools and youth development field, including with Teach For America. Jodi has a political science degree from Emory University with a focus on child welfare/juvenile justice policy and a master’s in education in risk and prevention from Harvard and has taken supplemental coursework in Business and Social Enterprise at Harvard and MIT. She has served as a guest speaker at numerous universities and conferences. She serves on boards of the Arlington Area and Massachusetts State Department of Children and Families as well as the MA Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA). She received the 2009 “Next Generation” award from the Social Enterprise Alliance, the 2010 Advocate of the Year from The Providers’ Council, and the 2010 “Rising Star” Award from Germaine Lawrence. MTW received the People’s Choice Award at the 2007 SEA Conference and was selected as a Social Innovator in 2009 by the Social Innovation Forum and received the 2012 Innovation award by the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) out of more than 250 nominations. In 2016, MTW was selected as a grantee in REDF’s Social Innovation Fund portfolio.