GWJax is pleased to welcome DeAndre McCray, Vista Americorp Steward, to work with Gloria McNair, Manager of Community Engagement & Equity.
DeAndre, or “Drakey” as his grandmother affectionately calls him, is pursuing an MBA at Jacksonville University (JU). According to DeAndre he was looking for an opportunity to give back and learned about GWJax. “I have been blessed in so many ways, I wanted to do something to help others and GWJax seemed like a great way to do that,” he says.
DeAndre grew up in Lakeland, Fla and left at the age of 18 to join the Navy. His eight years of military service took him to Japan, San Diego and Chicago among other locales. DeAndre realized he was destined for city life. “I knew I didn’t want to live in a small town again.”
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla near Orlando before moving to Jacksonville in 2021. Upon completing his MBA this spring, DeAndre intends to pursue his doctoral degree from JU with the goal of becoming a professor of finance or economics. His ultimate goal is to get involved in local politics and be a change -agent within whatever city he ends up calling home.
“I believe education is the key to taking control of your own destiny. I like that GWJax works to educate and empower residents of the urban core neighborhoods by helping them become their own advocates for community change. That is something I want to be a part of,” he added.
Currently DeAndre is working with Gloria, JEA and the North Riverside community on an irrigation system for the Daily Mann community garden. In addition, he will support GWJax’s outreach efforts around the watershed planning that GWJax is leading.