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From JA Student to JA Teacher

In high school, Deja Reid participated in our high school internship program, JA Leadership Academy. Now an Ohio State student and future educator, Dejar attended JA BizTown this past school year as a student teacher. Below, Deja shared more about her experience with JA and her plans for the future. Deja Reid

1. Where are you from?

I am originally from New Haven, Connecticut but have lived in Columbus, Ohio for over 10 years. I went to Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS) for high school.

2. What was your involvement with JA?

As a high school sophomore and senior, I participated in the Junior Achievement Leadership Academy. In addition to running one of the BizTown shops, I also gained exposure to central Ohio businesses through our trips to various business headquarters such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Cardinal Health. I also was a junior counselor during JA BizTown Summer Camp for two summers. In 2015, I emceed the Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame dinner, and in 2017, I spoke on behalf of Junior Achievement at the Columbus Women in Digital Conference.

3. What has JA meant to you?

One of the biggest takeaways from my time at JA was my growth in confidence. If I had known as a high school sophomore that I would soon be the emcee for an event with hundreds of business professionals and CEOs in attendance, I first wouldn’t believe it, then I would be terrified. Even as I was nervous on stage, knowing that Pete and the rest of the Junior Achievement staff believed in my ability to emcee the event empowered me to continue to pushing myself to speak in front of large groups. My confidence grew not just in front of large crowds but also in one-on-one conversations. The practice I received in conversations with business professionals, students, and teachers helped shaped conversations I’ve had even to this day. In addition to my development of soft skills, I also learned a great deal about personal finances through BizTown. I had never written a check or balanced a check book but I learned these skills through helping the BizTown students.

4. What are you doing these days?

I am beginning my junior year at The Ohio State University majoring in Middle Childhood Education. I am a scholars student in Mount Leadership Society at the university. I hold a student position as a Diversity Ambassador Captain in Ohio State Undergraduate Admissions where I aid in efforts to increase the populations of underrepresented students at the university.

5. Future plans?

My long term goal is to become a school teacher after I graduated college. In the near future, I plan to continue my involvement in programs and opportunities that aid in the education of students both inside and out of the classroom.


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  • "I can't think of a better gift for kids than to prepare them for success in the real world." - Aaron Bahe, Columbus City School Teacher

  • "I loved being the mayor of JA BizTown. I now have a good understanding of how busy business can be." - Gabbie Schneider, JA BizTown Student

  • "I loved my job as the CFO! It was so much fun. If I did this everyday it would be great!" - JA BizTown Student

  • "Kids are capable of more than we know. JA is a great way to demonstrate the real life skills they will all need." JA of Central Ohio Volunteer

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