Meet Deborah Ohiani-Jegede
A Better Chicago has been fortunate to work with some amazing interns over the years. Today, we are highlighting Deborah Ohiani-Jegede, who recently joined our team for the summer.
Tell us about yourself – What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about people and problem solving. These passions are born of my roots as the daughter of Nigerian immigrants and have guided all my major life decisions. They’re also the reason I was so excited to learn about A Better Chicago.
What drew you to A Better Chicago?
I was drawn to A Better Chicago’s mission and operating model. Education is an extraordinarily powerful tool and I’ve been undeservingly fortunate to have had access to transformative schools, enrichment programs, teachers, etc. I know that’s not true for all students and I love that A Better Chicago is centered on helping to change this reality. I’m also really energized by the prospect of multiplicative social good so I was immediately drawn to A Better Chicago’s venture philanthropy operating model and am very excited to have this opportunity to get firsthand experience.
Prior to joining A Better Chicago, you worked at Bain & Company. How did your time at Bain prepare you for your internship here?
At Bain, we specialize in helping our clients tackle their toughest, most complex problems with a focus on being as data-driven as possible. I think that translates directly to the work that A Better Chicago does given that improving educational outcomes for all of Chicago’s students is a tough, complex problem and that A Better Chicago’s approach to finding and supporting the best nonprofits is very data-driven. Additionally, many aspects of the of the management support that A Better Chicago offers grantees mirror the types of issues Bain helps clients solve every day.
Why does education matter to you?
I believe that education is a fundamental human right and will be a vital component of our ability to address society’s most pressing issues.
What does a “A Better Chicago” look like in ten years?
In 10 years “A Better Chicago” looks like a Chicago that is more equitable – where all students have access to a quality education which equips them for future success. It’s also a Chicago that has begun to use the inroads made in education as an entry point into the difficult but necessary work of undoing the systemic practices that have historically perpetuated inequality and fed poverty and violence in the city.