The daughter of a teacher and an ethics professor-turned-clergyman, Christa Bennett grew up with a strong sense of social interconnectedness and the importance of community. The values she was raised with continue to motivate her to support communities where all have opportunities to thrive.
Christa holds a master’s degree in international relations from King’s College London. She began her career with a human rights advocacy group that lobbied the UK government for policies that would help bring an end to the genocide in Darfur. Christa then co-founded a nonprofit that partners with local leaders in post-conflict areas to rebuild their communities.
When she moved back home to the US, Christa continued working with nonprofits that provide health, education, job, and housing services and with progressive public policy initiatives. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Strive for College, a nonprofit that matches students with financial need with mentors who help them get to college, graduate, and start living wage careers. Strive is the only college access and persistence organization that serves students in all 50 states.
In her role at Strive, Christa has negotiated six- and seven-figure deals with major companies and foundations. Strive uses that funding to offer its services at no cost to students. Christa knows how to leverage a community’s resources for the good of all its members.
Christa and her husband are the proud parents of two children who have attended Charlottesville City Schools since 2013. During that time, Christa has advocated for policies that better support all students. She has served on the CCS School Health Advisory Board since 2017.