With Presidents’ Day off from school, our young people participated in a career panel at the Home that featured speakers from a variety of industries. Panelists spoke about their careers, previous work experience, and the challenges they faced. The speakers also highlighted their mentors and the qualities that helped them succeed.
The career panel included the following speakers:
David Rojas, founder of TA98, a social enterprise that aims to decrease unemployment rates among 16 to 24-year-olds through entrepreneurship. TA98 has served more than 350 young adults throughout the West and South Sides of Chicago. Additionally, David serves as a success coach, supporting first-generation college students and their families.
Dorian Taylor, a College and Career Coach at Marshall High School, who also plays semi-professional basketball in the American Basketball Association.
“Find people who hold you accountable and push you to be better,”
Matthew Lynch, President of Chicago Jesuit Academy. Lynch began his career in education as a teacher at a federal prison in Virginia and a juvenile detention facility in Maryland. Upon returning to his hometown of Chicago, Lynch worked as a teacher and administrator at St. Ignatius College Prep.
Michael Watson, Senior Counsel and Chief Privacy Counsel at GE Transportation. Watson grew up in Jamaica and later came to Chicago, where he pursued his passion of studying and practicing law.
Shay Woods, a registered nurse at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She works with children and adolescents dealing with various mental illnesses and helps them identify feelings, learn and utilize coping tools to ensure their safety.
Nyah Griffin, Mercy Home’s Manager of Food Service Operations. Griffin graduated from Chicago Vocation Career Academy with a focus in Culinary Arts before working in restaurants all over the Chicago. She attended Washburne Culinary Institute, participated in Gallery 37 programs, worked as a chef mentor, and started her own catering business.
Each panelist left our young people with helpful advice, including Michael Watson, who said, “Find people who hold you accountable and push you to be better,” referencing his mentor brother who challenged him to pursue a legal career. “Also, find the voice within you.”
Thank you to all our panelists for inspiring our boys and girls as they look ahead toward their futures.