JLHeadshotHello! My name is Jared Launius, and this website that looks like it was developed in 2006 is mine. So, too, is that dorky haircut to the left.

I was recently on a first date with a University of Kansas alumna; this is notable because her alma mater is the sworn enemy of mine: the University of Missouri. I had bought our first round of drinks and things were going well when she snuck in an easy dig about my home state, Missouri. It was a fun, lighthearted joke, and the appropriately measured response would have been one of the low-hanging fruit on Kansas or its university.

“Well,” I instead said, “At least our governor gives a crap about education.” Undaunted by her silence, I pressed on to make sure she knew about a recent court ruling stating Kansas was spending more than a thousand dollars less per public school student than was mandated by state courts. Oddly enough, there was never a second date.

I don’t share that story in hopes you’ll pity my dating life (though maybe you should) but to elucidate something I’ve recently realized: I’ve lost my off-switch. The social issues I’m most passionate about – inequities in education high among them – seem to be what I care most about and what I want to talk about – even when I shouldn’t.

I’m a program manager for a non-profit in Washington that provides career mentorship and development for low-income and unemployed adults in the DMV, and I’m a Masters candidate in Public Administration at American University. I have a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, and I love to use my communication, strategic and analytical chops to attack the problems that affect our systems, communities and people – particularly those who are underserved. Nothing eats at me more than inequity, and that impetus drives my nascent career in public service.

This site – initially created as a project for a journalism class in college – is undergoing some remodeling, but the essentials are here. Check out my résumé, peek at my reporter clippings and blog from college if you must, and definitely say hello.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll stay a while. Not too long, though. I don’t want to hurt your eyes.