MILLI MOGUL MOVES | Ted D. Louis-Jacques, Founder & President of Malden Rising Leaders

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, it’s been done already. All we have to do is reach out and work together.
— Ted D. Louis-Jacques

There are some people in the world who are content with the way their lives are, and there others who strive to be better, do better and ultimately live better daily. Ted D. Louis-Jacques (Teddy to close friends) aka “The Politician” is the epitome of positive, committed, and driven. Ted is a U.S. Army Veteran, and currently holds a Corporal position in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Corporal Louis-Jacques first enlisted in the Massachusetts Army National Guard in July 2014 as an 88 Motor Transport Operator. This millennial has created a personal brand that is not only motivating, but extremely influential. On his Snapchats, and Instagram stories you can catch him preparing for military training working, hanging out with the youth, vacationing during his free time, or spending time with family. We see a lot of motivated millennials in our generation, but not many of them are so transparent about how they got to where they are today -- which is the case with Ted.  


Teddy has sought advice and actively connected with the right networks of people to stand as tall as he does. Today, Ted is the Residency Administrator for the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). In addition to his day job, Ted is also the founder and President of the Board of Directors of Malden Rising Leaders Inc. based in Malden, Massachusetts. Ted oversees ambitious strategic planning initiatives to position MRL, which is a non-profit organization whose focus is youth leadership and development through scholarship support and mentoring. Its mission is to support the up-incoming generation of Malden’s young leaders to organize and engage, by advocating on behalf of families, to advance their community’s development. (Learn more here

If that's not a full day not sure what more you can add, but there's more yah'll. Ted was also a fellow at the Howard Rye Institute (HRI) through Unity of Minority Neighborhood whose initiative is focused on developing leaders of African descent from various backgrounds. Ted is a huge advocate for education and equality, so it makes sense that he is also involved in Mayor Christenson’s Racial and Harmony Task Force where he was a member on the Absence of Racial Tension & Discrimination subcommittee.  To add more flavor to his resume, this Haitian-American man is involved in Ward 7 for Malden Democratic City Committee (MDCC) as a co chair, a member of Malden Community Preservation Committee (CPC) and Basketball Coach and Mentor at Malden High Boys Basketball and Malden Neighborhood Basketball League (MNBL) (7th year since 2011).


The Milli Blog sat down with Ted to get to know the man behind the military uniform sharp suits!

Tell us about a day in your life?

Start at 5am; gym, breakfast, check my emails, drive to campus, and l’m here until 5pm. Then back to Malden for committee meetings, review non-profit matters, then home by 7/8pm and I’m in bed by 9:45pm with lights out!

What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?

I saw the need for this in Malden. My teachers and coaches looked out for me to help me be successful. I wanted to give back to Malden cause I was thankful for what I received. I sat down with the senior class of 2017 and asked them what they wished they had. MRL started to be a voice in the community, to give back and make sure were getting the next generation of young leaders ready.

What are the 2 biggest benefits to your target audience  (Malden Rising Leaders) and why?

Connections. Access to our resources.

What are some goals you set for your organization?

Rolling out our summer fellowship program at MRL: Working on social justice projects to change voting age from 18 to 16 so Malden High School students can vote.

To solidify deals.

To be a presence in the community: becoming a member in the Malden Chamber of Commerce to have a seat at the table where decisions are being made.

What are some goals you have set for yourself this year?

For those 2 enterprises to succeed — As long as they succeed, I succeed.
More patience with goals. I’m only 29 and have done so much, and still have a ways to go.

Understanding that change doesn’t come easy.

Can you remember any stories that made you feel like the work you do is worth it?

Last year’s recipient, Nate Ilebode. To hear about his success is amazing! He said without this scholarship he wouldn’t have been able to attend college.
And another student, Isabella Barros, received a scholarship to go to Fitchburg. They make it worth it.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

I approach business with an open mind, so the most satisfying thing is learning from expert folks in the field, and learning where they were when they started.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?

Governor Deval Patrick. His passion and how he leads. He moves you when he talks and gives speeches. I read his book like 3 times. To hear his background story and how he worked his way to getting a law degree, working for the Clinton administration, then running for governor of MA when no one thought he’d win is inspiring.

"Overall, my biggest inspiration is my son. He’s the sole reason all of this happens. All of the sacrifices, with work, being away from him months at a time in the military… is all for him and his future."

What projects are you currently working on?

2 things: Malden Rising Leaders Summer Fellowship Program, and the leadership development of the board of directors
Intent: want to make sure once kids grad.hs, get them ready for next chapter of their lives. Whether 2-4 years schools, military (like myself), we want to make sure they have the tools to succeed.

MRl started while I we were deployed overseas Fall of 2015. It started off as us putting money together to send off to our teacher to give back to a student who needed help moving forward in life. The following year we turned it into a scholarship (Malden Public Service Leadership Scholarship) and moved forward with it. It was just $500 but successful. It was presented at the annual MLK luncheon in Malden by the North Shore Black Women’s Association. People got excited and we started to look deeper in MA (and the US) to see how to make this grow in the nonprofit field. We put in the work and assembled a small team of 10 where each candidate was a good fit. From there the board was brought down to 5.

Glen and I came up with the Commonwealth Office Supply LLC at work, while going through office supplies. A fair was happening at work where OSD was pushing for minority owned businesses, etc. and the idea kind of just sparked.

What's your vision for the future of the program and for yourself?

Back in 2011 I created a 10 year plan, and I said at the end of 2021 I wanted to run for office… so I decided to work backwards from that goal. By 5 years I will say I’m in office.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

You have to be approachable, relatable. you can’t take yourself seriously.

Literally be yourself. Being charismatic.

Teamwork. I’m all about the collective impact.

If you could offer advice to other millennial to produce change, what would it be?

You have to get involved. You have to participate in the game. If you don’t know whats happening you can create change. Link with people with similar ideas and make those ideas stronger.

Teddy Louis-Jacques is making a serious brand for himself. He is clearly a very goal-oriented individual who puts a whole lot of action behind those goals. It is so important that we can read and watch individuals like Teddy doing exactly what they do, because people like this are a great source of inspiration for all millennials and communities. It's also important that we all connect with people like Teddy because he is helping to improve our current generation, while doing incredible things for the next generation. We are so impressed with this millennial’s efforts, leadership, and bravery, and are excited to see where all his endeavors take him.

To Learn More About what Teddy is doing:

Go to Malden Rising Leaders website here