Meet Our Team

Britney Robbins

FOUNDER & CEO

Britney Robbins is the founder and CEO of The Gray Matter Experience. Britney has worked within Chicago's entrepreneurship and tech community for the past seven years working within some of Chicago's top venture capital firms and incubators including Sandbox Industries, Lightbank and 1871. She has been recognized as one of Ariel Investment, BMO Harris and WVON's 40 Under 40 Gamechangers, Essence Magazine's Woke 100, a finalist for Ebony Magazine's Power 100 People's Choice Award, featured on Fox32, Chicago Inno, BlackEntrepreneur.com, DNAInfo Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Forbes and Essence Magazine for her work through Gray Matter. Britney is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she received her B.A in Rhetoric.

Britney is passionate about the intersection of entrepreneurship, education and youth and believes in empowering others to use their passions and strengths to create opportunities for themselves. In 2015, she authored and published her first children's book and is working to complete the second book of the series early 2020. Britney is committed to inspiring youth to reach their full potential and aims to continue to create channels for them to do so. 

As a Detroit native and a resident of Chicago’s South side, Jessica is committed to bringing opportunity back to her communities, and using her knowledge to equip the next generation of change-makers. She has a passion for people and seeing them be their very best selves.

 

Prior to joining Gray Matter’s team, Jessica spent several years working directly with some of Chicago’s best entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship programs as an events and operations professional at 1871. While there, she coordinated and re-designed the Campus 1871 program, an immersive weekend of startup simulations and workshops for Illinois college students.

 

Jessica’s natural gift of organization, attention to detail, and creative imagination have earned her a reputation for unparalleled excellence as an event & program manager. A person who prides herself on being an executor, Jessica takes pride in cultivating events, programs and operational structure that have a larger impact on the public and clients, alike.

 

An artist at heart, Jessica studied Contemporary, Urban and Popular Music at Columbia College Chicago, where she also completed coursework in Entrepreneurship, Vocal Performance, and Creative Writing.

 

She is a proud bookworm and live music junkie.

Jessica Childress

OPERATIONS MANAGER

As a junior at Howard University, Jovoney is expected to graduate with a Bachelor's in Marketing accompanied by a concentration in Entrepreneurship in May 2022. She is a creative and passionate young professional seeking to make an impact in the same communities she was raised.

 

Being a former student in the Gray Matter program (Cohort 2), Jovoney has since taken on creative freelancing and planning her business post graduation. Her aspiration is to help minority entrepreneurs understand and utilize their data to make impactful marketing decisions. 

 

With her creative eye and analytical mindset, Jovoney is able to bring a unique perspective to the table and has showcased this through her professional experience at companies and organizations including -- Estee Lauder Companies, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and now Gray Matter Experience.

 

Being a true hustler, Jovoney has always been able to occupy her time with projects that expand to something bigger than herself, and plans to keep it that way.

Jovoney Morton

DESIGN & PROJECT

MANAGEMENT INTERN

Ashlee Willis-Hopkins

As a junior at Clark Atlanta University, Ashlee is expected to graduate with a Bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising along with a minor in Psychology. As an organized leader, she plans to make a positive change in her community using her exceptional communication skills. 

 

As one of the first studentS to take part in The Gray Matter Experience Program, Ashlee has used her perspective wisdom and critical thinking to expand her love of knowledge to others in her community. 

 

With her ingenuity and originality, Ashlee has been able to lead her peers to success through organizations like Full Circle, Beyond College, and now The Gray Matter Experience. 

PROGRAM & COMMUNITY INTERN

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AT GRAY MATTER

We believe empowering youth to create their own businesses can have great impact on their own self-worth, perception of the meaning of success, and can positively impact underrepresented neighborhoods across Chicago.

Gray Matter Experience © 2016