SALISBURY – Tremayne Smith grew up in Cleveland and calls Rowan County and Salisbury residence, however he lives and works in Washington, D.C., the place he’s particular assistant to the president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Institute.
The institute, one arm of banking large JPMorgan Chase, is a Washington-based suppose tank that researches nationwide monetary well being. Smith’s profession has moved between politics, coverage and music since he graduated from Japanese Carolina College in 2011 with bachelor levels in music and political science.
Whereas he was at ECU, he served as scholar physique president, homecoming king and head drum main for the Marching Pirates. He’s a French horn participant by coaching however proficient in quite a lot of different devices. After he graduated, he went on to work for the late Kay Hagan as a workers assistant whereas she was a United States senator.
Smith ultimately returned to North Carolina and took over as director of bands at Rocky Mount Excessive Faculty, the place he helped increase the college’s arts packages over three years earlier than deciding he needed to pursue a grasp’s diploma and returning to Washington to pursue a level in political administration from George Washington College.
He attended GWU at night time whereas working for Rep. G.Ok. Butterfield, N.C., D-1, and aiding Rep. Connor Lamb, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, after Lamb received a particular election in 2019 earlier than transitioning off Capitol Hill and into his function on the institute.
Now, Smith is embarking on his newest instructional journey at Harvard College, the place he’ll pursue a graduate certificates in social justice with a focus in financial justice and variety points. As soon as he finishes the certificates, Smith could have the choice to finish a second grasp’s diploma.
Smith will be capable to attend Harvard for gratis as a result of he meets inside standards, together with efficiency requirements, for JPMorgan to pay for his training.
Smith mentioned he was raised by a single mom, Patricia Watkins. He is a similar twin to Dewayne Smith, a health teacher in Salisbury. And when he arrived at ECU, his plans have been to turn out to be a highschool band director.
“I’ve all the time been involved in a number of issues, and amongst them: music and politics,” Smith mentioned. “There’s all the time this dance I’ve achieved between the each of them, and so I figured why not purse all of the pursuits that I’ve, and if I’m going to pursue one thing I’m going to do it 110%.”
Smith mentioned his work ethic was instilled in him by his household. He mentioned every alternative has given him the prospect to develop and function a mentor for folks following behind him.
Smith mentioned he hopes his newest instructional endeavor will help him confront a few of the inequities which are a part of American life introduced in financial methods and social justice. Smith mentioned he enjoys what he does with JPMorgan Chase and desires to advance and form the dialog by means of the financial institution. Some day, he wish to run for public workplace.
“A number of the methods that we see at the moment have been, at their outset, not meant for Black folks or folks of shade,” Smith mentioned. “Systemically they weren’t for us, and so it’s no shock that we run into friction factors when everyone seems to be attempting to have an equal shake and a good shot.”
Smith has an unapologetic dream: he needs to be president some day.
Smith mentioned it’s incumbent on him and others to succeed in again and assist folks overcome challenges. He mentioned he by no means would have imagined he can be the place he’s at the moment.
He credit God for main him by means of his profession. He mentioned his background in music surprises folks and factors to the multitasking, consciousness and teamwork abilities utilized by musicians as invaluable additions to his repertoire of talents.
Smith’s great-great grandfather was the primary individual born free in his household, and he was additionally the primary trainer in his household. Smith mentioned his mom all the time instructed him he wanted an training if he needed to go someplace.
“It’s a household achievement,” Smith mentioned.
He nonetheless enjoys taking part in music, open air adventures along with his companion and spending time with household.