Aimée Eubanks Davis ’95
Name: Aimée Eubanks Davis ’95
Current Title/Profession: Founder and CEO, Beyond Z
City: Oak Park, Illinois
What was your first job after MHC?: Teach For America corps member
Favorite class/professor and why: My favorite professor was politics professor Preston Smith. He opened my eyes to the injustices that plague my hometown of Chicago following the mass construction of low-income housing that led to systemic, generational poverty. He invited me to do research one summer that ended up in his book Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis: Housing Policy in Postwar Chicago. Professor Smith’s teachings led me to leave MHC and pursue a path of creating opportunity for all.
Talents and/or passions discovered at MHC: In my various leadership roles on campus, especially as a hall president, I realized I enjoyed leading teams of adults towards goals. I decided to take a risk and became a Teach For America corps member instead of going to law school. This allowed me to join a school team and led me on a path to a career in nonprofit leadership and management. The two highlights of my career are being a senior executive during the growth years of Teach For for America and now launching my own organization, Beyond Z.
What do you value most about your liberal arts education?: My liberal arts education gave me a well-rounded experience and allowed me to find my voice and style as a young woman leader. I acquired skills that are essential for successful leaders. In particular, I learned the “soft” skills that a liberal arts education promotes—such as encouraging students to have a strong sense of self. Being surrounded by so many amazing women leaders also gave me the confidence that I could lead at senior levels as a woman inside and outside of MHC.
Why is a women’s education still relevant today?: Women continue to struggle to lead at the highest levels of every sector. Having the space to build your leadership skills alongside other women can be critical to boosting confidence and expertise. I believe it is hard to be what you can’t see, and at women’s colleges you see leadership mirrored everywhere: the president of the student body is a woman, the captain of the rugby team is a woman, your hall president is a woman, etc. Because of this, once you leave, you know you can lead!
What do you want the world to know about MHC?: MHC is truly a place where you can pursue your dreams and expand your horizons, all while obtaining a top-notch education. Having grown up in low-income communities and eventually moving to and attending high school in a more affluent suburb, I wasn’t sure where I fit in or where my life would take me. Choosing to attend MHC allowed me to become who I wanted to be all while surrounded by smart, motivated, and like-minded students and faculty members.
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