Jennifer Carroll Foy was born and raised in Petersburg, Virginia.
She was raised by her grandmother — a powerhouse and a leader in the community. Jennifer’s grandmother instilled in her the values and principles of honor, commitment, and service.
Her grandmother would say, “Jenn, if you have it, you have to give it.”
What she meant was: If you have a warm home, you open your door.
If you have strength and compassion, you lend it.
If you have been blessed, then be a blessing to others.
Jennifer saw her grandmother giving all she had — even when she didn’t have much to give.
Jennifer committed herself to service from an early age. In high school, she was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC). Upon watching the Supreme Court make the landmark decision to open the door for women to attend Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Jennifer knew she had to attend.
Jennifer was one of the first African-American women to graduate from VMI. Having spent four years at Virginia Military Institute, Jennifer learned to address problems head-on and never back down from a fight — and she learned service above self.
Jennifer took time off from VMI to go home and care for her grandmother after a stroke left her paraplegic. Suddenly the strongest woman she knew, who had devoted her life to serving others, needed to be taken care of herself. Jennifer and her family often had to face tough choices, deciding if they were going to pay their mortgage or for the medications keeping her grandmother alive.
Through this experience, Jennifer’s commitment to those values her grandmother instilled in her grew stronger.
After graduation, Jennifer went on to receive a master’s degree from Virginia State University and a law degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Jennifer started her career as a magistrate judge. But she quickly saw how people in her courtroom were being treated differently based on their race, economic status, or zip code.
Jennifer became a public defender to help give a voice to the often voiceless — children, people suffering from addiction, those experiencing homelessness, those with mental illness, and the poor.
In 2017, she took her commitment to service to the Virginia House of Delegates. She led the charge to clean up toxic coal ash ponds across the commonwealth and voted to expand Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians.
Two years later, she established the Virginia for Everyone PAC to help elect women, people of color, and millennials to the Virginia General Assembly.
During the 2020 General Assembly, Jennifer advanced a pro-woman, pro-labor, and pro-environment agenda, and was the chief sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Jennifer has assisted her constituents with navigating the unemployment claim process, ensured that children can access school lunches, and helped small businesses access capital. She called for swift action to guarantee paid sick leave for hourly workers, raise unemployment caps, and institute an all vote-by-mail election in November.
We’ve accomplished so much in Virginia. And Jennifer is running for Governor because there’s still so much more to do. Her vision of a Virginia that works for all of us — regardless of age, gender, orientation, race, or zip code — is possible, and it’s within reach. And it’s more important now than ever.
Jennifer met her husband Jeff on their second day at Virginia Military Institute. They became best friends and, years later, married.
Jennifer and Jeff, and their twins, toddlers Alex and Xander, live in Woodbridge, Virginia.