Every Woman: Jackie Trask
One woman’s story of happiness and success
Jackie Trask is a ray of sunshine personified. She starts nearly every day here at JAFRA with an infectious smile and greets everyone she passes with contagious positivity. She says it’s easy to be happy when you love what you do. “This is where I want to be. Don’t stay at a job where you don’t want to get up out of bed. Success is being where you want to be.”
Jackie grew up in rural community in South Carolina. She was raised in a home without running water or electricity by three generations of hardworking women. Jackie’s grandmother was tough on her, but only because she believed in her ability to be someone great. Her mother’s formal education ended in 9th grade, but she was fiercely intelligent and loved books. She passed that passion onto her daughter and as a child, Jackie quickly outgrew the 10-book limit imposed by the local Book Mobile, negotiating her way into receiving 30 books at once by the end of 5th grade. It was the stories in these books that gave Jackie the vision to go beyond the dirt roads of South Carolina and the determination to become anything she wanted.
When Jackie was five years old, her grandmother began to instill in her the desire to go to Harvard University. “My grandmother had a dream and I was her dream. For her, defeat was not an option.” When she was six, her mother moved her to a desegregated school where she would receive a better education but she was the only black student. Jackie was held to very high educational standards at home. A’s were fine, but why not A+’s? She was constantly encouraged to be the best.
Jackie was the first person in her family to graduate from high school and she went on to attend - you guessed it - Harvard University. Once she graduated, she decided she wanted to attend business school. First, because she was curious about it and second, because she feared it. She forced herself outside of her comfort zone and attended The Wharton School of Business.
She stayed up all night the night before classes started at Wharton, nervous about being thrust into a new environment with people more experienced than herself. She didn’t “fit in,” but that didn’t stop her. “When I take risk, I have fear. It’s important to walk through the fear. I tell myself, ‘this will be good for me’ because I believe it.”
Jackie graduated from the Wharton School of Business and was offered a job with every single company she interviewed with after graduation.
After years as a business professional, Jackie decided she wanted more. By this time, she had fallen in love and become a mother to a wonderful 9-year-old. She told a friend, “It’s about time I go international and report to a CEO”.
And now she does. In her more than 10 years at JAFRA, Jackie has gone from mother to grandmother. In her words, “They took a chance on the black chick with the crazy hair” and we’re forever grateful that they did. We love you, Jackie! You continue to inspire us.
“My best moment is my ‘now’ moment. Always enjoy the now.”
- Jackie Trask