As an undergraduate at Lewis & Clark College, Myah Moore Irick volunteered in the college’s development and alumni relations offices.
“I had decided I was going to become a college president, and once I realized that people in that job spend 60 to 70 percent of their time on fundraising, I knew I had to build my skill set,” recalls Irick, who earned her Teachers College master’s degree from the Department of Organization & Leadership in 2006.
Irick’s career has taken some unexpected turns since then, including a year as Miss Oregon, an M.B.A. earned through a joint program operated by Brown University and Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid, and her current role as Executive Director at the Private Bank for JPMorgan, where she advises individuals, families and foundations. (She also worked in alumni relations at Teachers College.) But on a deeper level, she has remained absolutely true to what motivated her in the first place: the belief that education is the pathway to economic and social advancement, and a passion for providing others — particularly minorities and women — with access to that path.
To that end, this past year Myah and her husband, Jaime Irick — a West Point and Harvard Business School graduate who is President of the Fitness Division for the Brunswick Corporation — established the Myah & Jaime Irick Scholarship Fund to support students from historically and economically underrepresented groups.
“Jaime and I both came from humble beginnings, and higher education enabled us to move up,” Myah says. “So we’re committed to supporting and enabling these types of opportunities at our alma maters.”
Jaime and I both came from humble beginnings, and higher education enabled us to move up. So we’re committed to supporting and enabling these types of opportunities at our alma maters.
The Iricks also both come from racially mixed families. “My mom is Korean, French and Irish, and my dad is black and Cherokee,” says Myah, who grew up in Hawaii. “My husband’s mom is white and his father is black. Our children are incredibly diverse. We truly believe we’re supposed to help create awareness and enable communities to have conversations about diversity.”
Irick is certainly mindful of those goals in her work at JPMorgan.
“I’ve really enjoyed all aspects of wealth management,” she says. “For me, it’s all about getting families to understand how they can grow, protect and sustain their wealth. Additionally, I get the opportunity to coach families on their own strategic philanthropy, which may often include conversations about access to education.”
Meanwhile, the Iricks’ gift to Teachers College supports high-achieving minority students in TC’s higher education or school leadership programs. “The country needs diverse professors and people in education administration who can relate to the minority community,” Myah says. “School leadership itself needs to become more diverse. So we’ve got to give people a leg up into the field.”