National Teacher Of The Year Seeks Esty's Seat
Democrat Jahana Hayes, recipient of the 2016 National Teacher of the Year Award, today announced her candidacy for the 5th Congressional District of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Hayes is a lifelong Connecticut resident. A former social studies teacher at John F. Kennedy High School, she currently serves as the Talent and Professional Development Supervisor for Waterbury Public Schools. Hayes is known for her passion, energy, commitment to community and unifying presence. She has dedicated herself to being of service in the city of Waterbury and traveled the country engaging stakeholders on topics related to education and equity. These experiences have shown her that all people are facing similar challenges and she welcomes the opportunity to become a more well-rounded advocate for the entire 5th district.
"My decision to run is inspired by the people in my community. People with real stories, challenges and successes that often never make it into the discussion" explained Hayes. "I am running because I see myself in every student, teacher, mom, sister, daughter, friend, neighbor and stranger I meet, and their story is my story. I want to earn the trust of the people in this district and be the person to carry their concerns to Washington."
Hayes grew up in the Berkeley Heights housing project in Waterbury and her life was illustrated by obstacles. Her family struggled with addiction, relied on public assistance and at one point, lost their apartment. Hayes got pregnant as a teenager and all hopes for any upward mobility seemed beyond her grasp. She says it was the people in her community and her strong desire for an education that was a game changer. Jahana enrolled herself in school, graduated from Naugatuck Valley Community College, went on to get her 4-year degree at Southern Connecticut State University and her masters and advanced degrees from University of Saint Joseph and University of Bridgeport all while working to support her young family. “It is these experiences that compel me to invest so deeply in my community because I have been the benefactor of so much undeserved grace. We can do whatever it is we set our minds to, as long as we work hard and work together”
"I know that the people of the Fifth District want someone in Washington who will fight hard for them. I want them to know that I will do everything I can to serve them and the state I love to the best of my ability because our journey is not determined by where we begin but rather where we are going. I know the future of my city and my state and our country is so promising, because I see the possibilities every day in every person I encounter. And most importantly I want my children and your children to experience a better, brighter future. I look forward to meeting the residents of the 5th District, listening, learning and discussing the issues that you care about over the next several months," said Hayes.
Hayes lives in Wolcott with her husband Milford, a Waterbury Police Detective, they have four children. She is scheduled to attend a meet and greet for candidates tonight at 6pm at the Waterbury Portuguese Club, 1966 Baldwin Street, Waterbury, CT.