Jaylin McClinton

McClinton Headshow

JAYLIN D. MCCLINTON (‘16) is a graduate of the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois. Right after college, he worked as a Reuss intern at the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF). McClinton was later accepted to the White House Internship Program, where he worked for former President Obama in the Office of Management & Administration. If not for this opportunity, Mr. McClinton’s professional career would have likely gone in a completely different direction. 

Following his time in Washington, D.C. and at the behest of Mrs. Obama, who said, “go back to Chicago”, when they met, McClinton returned home to work as the District Manager for then-Illinois State Representative Juliana Stratton, who is now Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. There, he handled both administrative and constituent-related issues, along with oversight of legislative affairs and the internship program. He is most proud of two House Resolutions that the state representative worked on: H.R. 579, which urged former Governor Rauner to request to temporarily waive the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (AWAWD) time limit, as well as H.R. 677, which urged former Governor Rauner to make appointments to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees that reflect the racial and gender diversity of Illinois. H.R. 677 hits close to home for McClinton, since he served as an elected student trustee on the Board of Trustees during his time in Urbana-Champaign. 

In December 2017, McClinton began a new endeavor with the Obama Foundation’s Public Engagement team as their first hyper-local Community Organizer. His responsibilities included developing an organizing program to engage residents primarily in Chicago’s South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn neighborhoods around the idea of a presidential center coming to the South Side of Chicago, as well as using analytics and digital tools as a means for new methods of engagement. His main focus was to listen directly to the community’s needs and concerns as it related to bringing the presidential center to life. 

In the fall of 2019, Jaylin began his legal studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Chicago-Kent College of Law where he plans to use his legal education to reform the criminal legal system. 

McClinton’s advice for African-American Studies majors at the University of Illinois is to “trust the process”, which he believes means working hard, making meaningful connections with professors that interest you, and not being afraid to speak truth to power when it is necessary. 


Mr. McClinton can be reached at jaylinmcclinton2012@gmail.com