Ready, Set, Jet! program set grad on path to success

J’Dah Washington originally did not plan on going to college until she heard about Jackson College’s Ready, Set, Jet! Program several years ago from Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Multicultural Affairs Antoine Breedlove. 

 “I didn’t really know what to expect coming in and I’ve heard about other summer programs at different schools but I am really glad that I did come to this school and do the program. I feel like I got ahead,” she said.  

 She credits Breedlove, Multicultural Affairs Student Engagement Coordinator Brenda Brandon, TRIO Project Director Tyrone Green and several others for her success.  

 “I just felt like they genuinely cared about me and that they wanted to pour their hearts into me,” Washington said.  

 Brandon said she met Washington in 2022 and became very close with her while she worked in the Multicultural Center.  

 “She was very determined to become something and understood that education is at the forefront of everything she will do,” she said. “She is an inspiration and motivation to her peers because she knows the need for fellowship amongst students and the value of networking.” 

 Now she is a Jackson College graduate. J’Dah received her Associate of Arts degree in spring 2024. She was selected as one of two student speakers during commencement and participated in the Kente Ceremony. 

 Kente graduation celebrations is an opportunity to recognize academic and personal achievements. Participating students receive a Kente stole, a colorful African woven fabric, to wear at special events. Part of the ceremony allows graduates to go on stage, give a speech about a person they felt had an instrumental part in their journey and hand them a rose. 

 J’Dah’s rose recipient? Her mother.  

 “She has been everything to me. I feel as if it wasn’t for her I really wouldn’t be here today because she was one of the people pushing me to go to college,” she said. “I did not want to but she eventually did help me make that choice. My entire time here and my entire time of living she did everything she could so that I could have the best in life.”  

 She felt as though Jackson College emphasized community.  

 “It genuinely feels like a family,” Washington said. “I feel as if you don’t know what you want to do, this is a good place to put your feet down at so you can make the decision that you want to make without it being so costly.” 

 Although J’Dah is not entirely sure about her future plans, she is considering transferring to Eastern Michigan University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in teaching.