A former National Teacher Of The Year recipient has now thrown her hat into the political ring.
Jahana Hayes is currently running for the vacant 5th Congressional District seat in Connecticut with the chance to become the first black Democrat to ever represent Connecticut in Congress.
“I’m a fighter,” Hayes told the Hartford Courant. “Time and time again, I have had doors shut in my face and have had to walk around and knock on the back door.’’
Hayes rose to prominence in 2016 when she won the National Teacher of the Year award while former President Barack Obama was still in office.
The high school teacher grew up in a housing project in Waterbury, CT and became pregnant as a teenager. But she was determined and slowly worked her way through school to later become a teacher.
She is facing longtime public servant Mary Glassman in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District seat. And political novice Hayes is also up against Glassman’s 30-year public service career. But Hayes tells the Courant that her own experience shows in the life she has lived.
“I know what it’s like to go to bed to gunshots outside, I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning to a dead body in the hallway,’’ she has said. “No job gives you that kind of experience. Life gives you that kind of experience.“
Hayes is part of the wave of black women who are running for office this year.
As the 2016 Teacher of the Year honoree, Hayes could barely contain her excitement at meeting the president. The clip of her priceless introduction of the former president went viral.