REC Coordinators are vital to Urban Initiatives’ mission of empowering Chicago’s youth to become agents of community change through academic success, healthy living, and leadership development. They drive systematic change by connecting stakeholders and strengthening the social fabric of the community. Meet Jamila, one of UI’s newest REC Coordinators!
Basic info: Name, birthday, where you last went to school
Jamila (pronounced Jah-Mee-Lah) Swahili & Arabic name and DeVry-Keller.
Who is your favorite Spice Girl/Backstreet Boy/Power Ranger?
I admired Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls because of her name…she was the sporty one!
I guess since I wasn’t the biggest Backstreet fan, I enjoyed Nsync and Justin Timberlake so it’d have to be him as my favorite, plus he’s not too hard on the eyes!
Now Power Rangers, I LOVED them…the pink one – Kimberly was my favorite, she actually plays Jewels on Flash Point (TV show). My other favorite was Zac the black ranger…he was cool with all the dance moves!
Who is someone that has really inspired you in your lifetime?
My grandmother was my personal inspiration. She raised her 3 children and was a homemaker while my grandad was a Military Police Officer in WWII and worked for Best Foods for over 50yrs before retiring. She showed me what a mother & wife should be. My professional inspiration is Maya Angelou. She like me had her son during her teenage years and she never let that or being a single parent stop her ambition to succeed in life. I still admire her and love all her literature she has published.
If we gave you $20 to go spend on anything right now, what would you buy?
The biggest cheese burger (with bacon) I could find since Groupon massages are normally over $20!
What’s your favorite type of cheese and why?
Sharp cheddar and Mozzarella is my favorite because I LOVE baked mac n cheese & that’s the type cheese my mom always used in hers.
What is your spirit animal?
I think I feel more like an elephant. The elephant is a symbol of good luck, happiness, longevity, and has high intelligence. Not to mention they are very strong with thick skin!
If you were to throw a dinner party, who are 3 people you’d want to invite?
Jim Carey (Funny), Jay Cutler (Sports), and Michelle Obama (Fashion-Mom-Working Woman)
What is the last book you read?
The Companion by Stephen King.
What’s the best place to get food in Chicago?
The best place would be Giordano’s (anywhere in Chicago) for pizza or Lem’s BBQ (south-east side of Chicago) for the best pork barbecue with mouth watering sauce to match!
How would your best friend describe you?
She would say am a very sensitive (I can cry over anything!) yet strong woman who loves her children and has a great work ethic.
What’s your favorite childhood sports-related memory?
A few of my neighbors children and myself would always get together after school and play Piggy (2 bounce) or Softball in the school lot.
What are you most excited about for this year?
Im coordinating recess for a great school, the students are very receptive of enrichments.
What was your first impression of Jim Dower?
This guy must be made of steel (and a heart of gold) to work with children of such adversities.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I am so happy to be back with my family (UI)!! Im going to make sure that The Chicago Academy gets all the awesomeness UI has to offer and hope to get all our programs going here too.