Another edition of Maria Pinto’s Spotlight Series: In Her Own Words is here. Each month, we feature the dynamic, stylish, and powerful women who inspire us daily.
Meet this month’s spotlight: Janice Jackson, CEO of Hope Chicago; a new-start non-profit that sends parents and students to college debt free. Prior to that, Janice spent 22 years in Chicago Public Schools as a teacher, principal, district leader and eventually Chief Executive Officer.
WORK & LIFESTYLE
Best piece of advice you've ever received...
Don’t kill yourself for a job. They will have another person in your seat before it’s cool.
When I hear the word “resilience” it always reminds of...
The families that I have had the pleasure of serving during my time at CPS and Hope Chicago. I’ve been blessed to meet the best that Chicago has to offer. People who love this city despite its challenges and limited opportunities for people of color. People wake up every day and go for it and that motivates me to go hard for them as well.
My days are filled with...
Love and laughter. My family brings me joy. And I am lucky to have always worked in a field where I get to do what I love and help so many people.
My passions are...
Education and policy, reading, fashion and family!
When I was little, I wanted to be...
A lawyer because I love to debate.
Being a woman to me means:
Everything. We literally and figuratively give Life to everything!
Personal motto or favorite quote
I have two
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated” Oscar Wilde
“To Thine Ownself Be True” Polonius, (Hamlet)
People always tell me:
They love my shoes!
What are you watching, reading, and/or listening to right now?
I just finished reading The Sewing Girl’s Tale, by John Wood Sweet. I also am binging Only Murders in Buildings. It’s amazing!
If you could live anywhere (and money is no object), where would you choose?
Chicago. I will always live here. Visiting other places is nice but this is it!
How would you describe your personal style? Classic, clean, fly and chic.
What inspires me in cultivating my look:
Two things, I start with the shoes, usually heels. My philosophy is always wearing the right outfit for the occasion. This means if you are attending a gala or baseball game there is an outfit that will be both functional and appropriate-wear that. My go-to is classic and comfortable so I can exude the most confidence. And if you do not know what to wear, put on a crispy white shirt.
Who are some of your style or fashion icons?
Tracie Ellis Ross dresses immaculately. She is my biggest inspiration. She looks like a real woman and is daring yet chic. I also love J Lo’s style. She is versatile and can go from b-girl to bell of the ball. This is always my goal. I also love Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. She never missed!
What are your favorite Maria Pinto pieces? Why?
I love the style and function of every piece I own. Right now my favorite is the cropped jacket and Zadie pants in flame!