October 14, 2019
On Tuesday, October 1, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, the U.S. Representative for the Fifth Congressional District of Connecticut, visited campus where she met with student leaders, faculty and administrators, and addressed the community during lunch. In her remarks, Representative Hayes encouraged students to use their voices, advocate for themselves and others, and blaze their own trail. In her meeting with the Big 7, Walker’s student government, Representative Hayes spoke with students about the representation of women in politics, and the role schools have in shaping the next generation of women leaders.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Representative Hayes was a high school teacher in Waterbury where she taught history and encouraged her students to participate in community service work. Hayes first garnered widespread notoriety when she was selected as the Connecticut Teacher of the Year, before going on to earn the distinction of 2016 National Teacher of the Year, leading to an invitation to the White House by President Barack Obama. In her capacity as national teacher of the year, Hayes traveled the country and the world as an ambassador for public education engaging all stakeholders in policy discussions meant to improve outcomes for students.
Representative Hayes was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2018, making her the first African-American woman and the first African-American Democrat to ever represent the state of Connecticut in Congress.