Class of 2016 Alumna Shares her Journey from CTK to the Work World

Our alumni are moving into the workforce in increasing numbers. One of our young alumni, DeJada Daily from CTK’s Class of 2016 spoke at our RISE UP event earlier this fall. We are sharing an abbreviated version of her speech below.

Hello, my name is DeJada Daily and I am a 2016 graduate of CTK. Since graduating, I’ve gone to college, moved out of my father’s house, got a newer car, fell in love, and became a mother, but no matter how much I grow, and life changes, I’ll always stay connected to my alma mater. Without my education and opportunities at CTK, it is hard to imagine what my life would be like now.

Going to CTK was an enjoyable time in my life: it was easy to keep up with friendships, it was a quick 5-minute walk to and from home, and the teachers were cool, and baked really good cookies, scones and many more delicious treats. I would consider myself the ideal student, too. I made sure my schoolwork was done before goofing around - there had to be a balance. I spent so much of my time at CTK because I was involved in every activity I could sign up for: basketball, softball, volleyball, spoken word, peer ministry, band, Students in Action Leadership team (S.A.L.T.), and outside service trips. I had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C., twice.  The first time I was voted by the members of S.A.L.T., which Mr. Daniel Zundel convinced me to join since it was clear I had a thing for helping others. One of my first and favorite community service projects was to the Appalachian Mountains the summer going into my sophomore year. Being able to see a different part of America and leaving an impact on someone else’s life by repairing their home, is an experience that I can never forget.

As you may know, the thing that makes CTK special is the job placement opportunity through the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) that provides students with a real world, working perspective, and tuition payments. While at CTK, I was an office manager assistant at Arthur J. Gallagher & Company, (AJG) one of the largest global insurance brokerage firms in the world. Which I think is pretty cool, and helped me to secure even cooler jobs. For two years, I worked as an Administrative Assistant at Sista Afya, a mental health organization that prioritizes Black women’s mental health. There I was able to utilize the skills I had learned from working at AJG, and picked up even more. I hosted workshops and classes focused on Black women loving their bodies and being in tune with their sexualities, candle-making workshops, and weather-themed events like Coco & Conversations. I also hosted a couple of community events in South Shore that provided hot, fresh meals and clothes for people who needed them most.

I recently transitioned into my first salaried role at mSeed Group, which is a contract manufacturer of beauty and personal care products. I am an executive assistant to a Black, female cosmetic chemist, and so far, I love it! In my first month, I was able to travel to Arkansas to assist Erica aka Sister Scientist with a hair diversity presentation for Unilever and Walmart, and to LA to be on the filming set of a shoot with known producers and celebrities. I have CWSP to thank for giving me the opportunity to begin: 1.) building my resume and work experience at the age of 14, and 2.) being confident and prepared to walk away from job interviews with an offer.

I am very grateful for my time at Christ the King Jesuit College Prep. It prepared me for more than just college, it prepared me for the rest of my life. Thank you for supporting CTK students and alumni, like me. There’s nothing like receiving support from family.