Jahida Jorganes

Class: 2009
Major: Music - Vocal Jazz
Hometown: Plantation, Florida
Career: Teacher, Performer

Jahida JorganesJahida Jorganes, who graduated in 2009 with a performing arts degree in jazz voice, didn't follow a traditional path to teaching, but the music training and professional connections that she got while at Johnson State College helped her start her career in education at the Sagemont School in Weston, Florida.

Soon after graduation, Jahida moved to Florida, where she has family and where she had done a study away semester through the National Student Exchange while at JSC. Initially, Jahida worked as a private music teacher, as well as teaching at camps, and working as a session musician and singing on stage. When a full-time teaching opportunity opened at the Sagemont School in Weston, Florida, she applied. Coursework that she had done at JSC, including theory and instrumental and vocal training, enabled her to receive her temporary teaching certification in Florida.  And her ongoing performance work including the international experience she acquired working with the Brazilian Voices women’s ensemble at the Broward Arts Center — gave her the edge she needed to land the job.

She describes her first year of teaching as challenging and rewarding. “It can be tough,” she says, “but when the students really get it and love the music as much as you do, there’s nothing like it.”

It’s Jahida’s hard work, talent, and commitment to craft that landed her a spot teaching at the Sagemont School. But she credits JSC for preparing her well for her post-graduation success. The musical training she got has helped her get regular work as a session musician. She explains, “I have a reputation for being easy to work with and for knowing my stuff. I go into the studio and we don’t have to do a lot of takes, because I understand theory.”

Additionally, Jahida says she took advantage of every opportunity she got while at Johnson to perform, work with her professors outside the classroom, performing at the Burlington Jazz Fest and other high-visibility venues, and more. That experience and those connections continue to serve her as she builds her career in Florida. "I honestly don't know where I would have been without Johnson State. So much of where I am and what I do and who I know is because of my time there."