Originally hailing from Dallas, Texas, Jara Butler (AB ‘08) knew from a very young age that she wanted to attend the University of Georgia. She recalled a memory of being in the 8th grade and being asked to write a letter to the university that she hoped to attend one day. While many students chose to write to Yale or Harvard, Jara addressed her letter to the University of Georgia, where she would later earn her political science degree. The rest is history.

Jara exemplifies UGA’s tradition of public service in her current career as the Chief Impact Officer for Supermajority. Jara directs all of their programmatic work by supporting the strategy of the Communications, Creative, and Digital and Strategic Programs teams. She measures the external impact, ensuring Supermajority’s work is both meaningful and change-making, and that it aligns with the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Jara attributes her love and passion for legislative affairs to Dr. Charles S. Bullock’s influence and the time she spent working on the Obama Campaign while she was a student. She states, “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t quote [Dr. Bullock] in some capacity.”

For Jara, being a part of the Alumni Board for the School of Public and International Affairs is “an opportunity to give back to the school that gave a lot to me.” While Jara says that being a UGA graduate has opened a lot of doors for her in her professional career, she explains that she didn’t realize the extent of her gratitude for the University until the day that Ketanji Brown Jackson became a Supreme Court Justice. As Jara was celebrating Justice Jackson with her colleagues on the White House lawn, she realized that she wouldn’t be where she is today without the University of Georgia.

Jara’s advice to current students is: Your education doesn’t stop the moment that you pass through the Arch. Jara encourages students to challenge conventions and be curious; “we can all learn more.” She also highlights the importance of community for young Black women at the University of Georgia, advising that “upperclassmen and graduate students who are also women of color nurture those young Black students as they come in so that they can find their space.”

As a member of the Alumni Board, Jara hopes to support and mentor students from working-class backgrounds. Growing up, both of her parents were assiduous working-class individuals. Jara’s parents serve as examples of dignity and tenacity in her life, and Jara hopes to inspire students from a similar background, stating, “We have a different path than everyone else, but we can be successful at the University of Georgia.”