Justin Ifill, A Better Chance Alumnus ‘02

Four people stand smiling in formal wear, two clasp hands, one has a hand around another's shoulder
Justin Ifill stands smiling with another person, light brown skin, balding black hair, and a pinstripe suit
Justin Ifill smiles with actor Liam Neeson in an elegant doorway
Justin Ifill stands with another person, light brown skin, glasses, short hair and suit
Justin Ifill stands smiling with actor Ben Stiller
A light brown skinned person in grey suit and striped scarf stands on a fountain's edge outside a large mansion
Justin Ifill smiles with three other people in a formal ballroom setting
A person in a white suit stands with arms around two people, one in a black dress and one in a white dress
Black-and-white, Justin Ifill in a tux smiles with two other people in formal wear
A handstanding person, legs tucked to press feet together, before a building window with: %22Here's to taking your time%22
A brown skinned person stands upside down on folded elbows, body perfectly straight, eyes closed, on a sticker-covered bench
A young Justin Ifill sits with peers outside on a plaza
Justin Ifill clasps hands with a peer, both are wearing A Better Chance shirts
Several people stand around a large sheet cake with candles and smile, all looking to the left
Justin Ifill poses with several Better Chance peers, arms draped around each other, smiling
Justin Ifill poses with arm around another's shoulder, head leaning on top of their head, both with neutral expressions
Portrait of a smiling young man with red brown skin, close shaven hair, and a pinstripe suit

Event Planner, Yoga Instructor, and Entrepreneur.

There were many people in my old neighborhood that were comfortable and complacent the way things were. A Better Chance gave me that first step to getting out of my comfort zone and seeing all the ways I can make the world my oyster.

Justin Ifill

How he became a Scholar

When Justin Ifill was in middle school, an older friend of his was accepted into the Middlesex School in Massachusetts. As his mother began researching the possibility of sending Justin to a boarding school as well, she learned that A Better Chance could help make that happen. Not long after, Justin was packing his bags for the Groton School.

Throughout his entire time at Groton, Justin had a built-in community of fellow A Better Chance Scholars, and, like many Scholars, he’s made lifelong connections and friendships as a result of this community. “It was a source of comfort to know that you were not alone,” he says of that time. “We were all there for a reason and had something to prove to ourselves and each other.”

His Career

After graduating from Groton in 2002, Justin went on to Columbia University. While there, he developed an interest in event planning, and worked with the university’s administration to coordinate student body activities at venues like Madison Square Garden and Madame Tussauds. In 2006, as a new college graduate, he started his own event planning and production company, Ifill Events. In 2017, Justin became a certified yoga instructor and Ifill Yoga now offers about ten classes per week.

Justin has remained committed to community service, and currently serves on multiple boards, including those of his elementary school (The New Highland School) and Columbia College. He is a member of the Black Alumni Council of Columbia University, an Assistant Agent for the Groton School, and a Big Brother in the Bigs & Littles NYC Mentoring Program. He also volunteers his talents as a yoga instructor with free classes.

Get to Know Yesterday's Scholars

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Bonnie Jenkins, A Better Chance Alumna '78

Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Obama Administration, Lt. Commander in the US Naval Reserves, and Expert Peace Advocate whose work has touched most of the major conflicts of our times.