UW Credit Union hosted a “Next Step” panel event featuring All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor at American Family Field on Saturday. Taylor joined other Wisconsin notables, including Miss Milwaukee 2022 Jada Davis and the Bucks’ DJ Shawna, to share more about their career journeys and empower today’s students to leave their mark. Guests included students from All-In Milwaukee.
- When asked what panelists love most about what they do, how they approach challenges, and what advice they’d give their younger selves they shared the following insight:
- Jonathan Taylor (JT) – JT talked about the importance of always putting your best foot forward, and encouraged students to take risks. He stressed that “proper preparation prevents poor performance,” and warned students about avoiding peer pressure. He told students that they are in the driver’s seat, “you know what you need to do, trust yourself to make it happen.”
- Jada Davis– Mentioned that her goal is to “help people see the best in themselves,” reminding attending students that “setbacks are just setups for a comeback.” Jada shared more about how she used to dress up as a lawyer for Halloween. She also encouraged students to surround themselves with positive influences.
- DJ Shawna– Shawna joked about coming out of the womb with a basketball in her hand,” but got serious with students about the importance of finding “even just one person to tell you yes.” Shawna mentioned that while “a big part of success is just showing up, what you do when no one is watching is matters.” Her advice to students was to “watch people you admire, absorb what they do, and ask questions.”
- Francessca Hong – Fran emphasized her passion for “building relationships and using her voice for others.” She touched on burnout too – reassuring students that “it’s ok to unravel sometimes, failure and vulnerability can be successful tools.” She also recommended that students refrain from isolating themselves when they go through rough times and instead consider leaning on their support system. Finally, she reminded guests that “systems change when we have change makers in the system, you don’t need permission to lead.”
Ranell Washington – Ranell was a great cheerleader for the city of Milwaukee, but reminded students that they need to be the change they want to see and that we all share a responsibility to make Milwaukee’s story a positive one. His advice to students was to “always walk in a room and know you belong there.” He also stressed the importance of “the people students surround themselves with,” saying, “Your net worth is your network.” Finally, Ranell reminded students to be empathetic and compassionate to others’ journeys but to take emotion out of decision-making.