On the Job: Jada Batson


A strong work ethic is very important to Jada Batson – something that she credits to her time in TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative (SYI).

“A job is a job. It’s not a playground,” said Batson, who graduated from Grand Blanc High School in 2015. “When you go to a job you have to want to show up and be there. You want to build skills on top of skills.”

It’s that dedication that saw her spending much of her time in high school either working or honing the skills she’d need later in life. Batson worked for two different employers through SYI, but the one that had the deepest impact on her was the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. It was there that she developed a love of working with the community.

After graduating from high school, Batson focused on her future by entering college and the workforce. It was through service jobs that she leaned into passion for helping people. And it was her time working in the mortgage industry that helped her realize how much she loved working in the real estate industry and wanted to be more hands on.

Since then, Batson has become a full-time real estate agent after taking a “leap of faith” and trusting her gut.

 “What makes it most meaningful for me is the people,” Batson said. “I love to see first-time home buyers getting their own place. That’s what makes it the most exciting for me – when you have that moment with people. It’s such a big achievement for them and you’re a part of it.”

As for the foundation that led her to being a real estate agent, she found that being taught the importance of having a good resume, a professional look, professional behavior, and a good attitude was key: “It made a huge impact on who I am.” 

How did TeenQuest prepare you for your first actual job interview?
Instead of going in without any experience, I had that mock (interview) experience. I knew what to expect, so I wasn’t as nervous and went into it with confidence. It contributed to employers taking me as a serious candidate.”

Do you have a memory or moment that stands out from the program?
The first thing you have to do is to stand up and say “I am…” whoever you are. They always made us do that. I remember the picnic for everyone in the whole program. I remember the opening interviews at Baker College. I was actually on one of the (marketing) flyers.

What advice can you offer current and former students of TeenQuest/Summer Youth Initiative?
Take it seriously. Try to take something from it.

What is your proudest moment since graduating TeenQuest?
Achieving my goal of becoming a full-time real estate agent and that becoming my career.