This story is part of a series of profiles of African American employees OUC is featuring during Black History Month. Today: Jeneé Day 

Jeneé Day remembers being introduced to African American history at an early age. Her mother, a legal secretary, imparted on her children the importance of learning about their ancestry and historic figures in America’s Black culture. Day says she and her sibling were given reading assignments and had to do book reports.

“She wanted us to know who we are and where we come from. There are more people than Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X who are important in Black history,” Day says.

Looking back on that experience, Day, Associate Billing-Quality Assurance Analyst, now feels some regrets not fully grasping the point her mom was trying to make.

“I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do now. I was probably 8, maybe 12 years old, and I didn’t take it as seriously,” she explains.

Ever the overachiever, Day treated her Black history assignments as another task to accomplish. But that nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic would serve her well in all other pursuits.

Day’s high grade point average while in Maynard Evans High School’s engineering magnet program earned her a car for meeting a goal her dad had set. She went on to earn undergrad degrees in sociology from the University of Florida and accounting from Florida Atlantic University, an MBA from Rollins and is studying for her CPA exam.

Her affection for learning is documented in a family video taken when she was 5. In it, she’s singing, “I like school and school likes me.”

Turns out, Day also likes ― no, make that, loves ― food.

She loves checking out cuisines served at restaurants throughout Central Florida and the world. She will hop on a plane and fly halfway around the world to taste dishes made by locals for locals. Venice, Milan, Rome, Prague (twice), Tokyo, Dubai (twice), and Amsterdam. . . she’s visited all of them for the express purpose of eating and experiencing their foods and cultures.

When she isn’t working or dining out, she may be offering her finance and accounting skills to her church, preparing taxes in underserved communities, or mentoring middle and high school students on financial literacy.

“I’m always helping. My dad says it’s my passion in life.”

Day, who joined OUC in 2010 as a Customer Service representative, says once she made the decision to focus her career on accounting, she sought out a mentor. And Linda Howard, who has since retired as Directory of Treasury for OUC, came to her aid. The two met in 2013 as members of the Greater Orlando chapter of National Association of Black Accounts.

“She helped me to get structure and how to approach conflict. She pushed me to develop leadership skills and for me to take the lead instead of sitting back and watching others do it,” Day says. “She’s been my mentor ever since.”