After graduating from one of Chicago’s top high schools, Whitney Young, and playing college football for a year at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Xavier Joy returned home to the South Side. He joined AmeriCorps, a national network of volunteers, and worked with disadvantaged students at a school near Douglas Park. He worked in public schools in Chicago and Evanston. He taught children chess at after-school programs and mentored junior high students.
Joy comes from a family that has been involved in politics and community development. His father is Ra Joy, executive director of Change Illinois, which describes itself as a statewide coalition pushing for political and government reform. Ra Joy is also the former executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois.
His mother, Nykea Pippion-McGriff, is president of the Women's Council of Realtors Chicago.
Rebeca Nieves Huffman, vice president and executive director of City Year Chicago, where Joy worked as a volunteer, described Joy as "a quiet, powerful force for good with the students he served.”
"This is a devastating loss for City Year Chicago, our city and especially his family who are pillars of leadership in Chicago."