Jahnakai Willis

Senior Spotlight: Jahnakai Willis

Name, age, grade, city of residence

Jahnakai Willis, 12th grade, Aptos

Grade you started at MMS

Ninth grade 

What inspires you?

The people around me. My mom. She’s a strong woman in my life and one of the first black women to own a business in Santa Cruz.

What is your favorite subject in school, and why?

My favorite subject is probably English. We do a lot of creative writing which is a good way to express myself.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Either world hunger or equality. Living in Santa Cruz is a little bit like a tiny little bubble. But at Mount Madonna School we travel a lot and we see people that don’t have as much as we do so I’d love to change that.

What is your dream job and why?

My dream job is to work at some sort of super cool fashion place.

What are your three favorite things? 

  1. My best friend
  2. My dog
  3. Food

Favorite book:

The “Harry Potter” stories by J.K. Rowling

What do you want to do after high school?

I’m going to Pace University. I also want to travel as much as possible.

Something that makes you smile:

Seeing other people happy.

A favorite MMS memory – and why?

When my class took our trip to South Africa and we visited the Botshabelo center. Me and one of my classmates, Paola, met this little kid and they put on some music and we all started dancing and it was so fun.

Who inspires you and why?

My grandma inspires me. She is a very strong person and she’s been through so much in her life. She’s always been so supportive of all the choices that I’ve made. I want to grow up to be like her.


Alumna Renata Massion (’15) interviewed Jahnakai for this spotlight feature.