Derby Chukwudi

Derby Ozioma (meaning Goodnews) Chukwudi is a 1st generation Nigerian-American born in Dallas, TX, raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and resides in Hoboken, New Jersey. This was Derby’s second time competing for the title of Miss New Jersey USA; in 2021 she received a non-finalist award for interview.  This year, Derby competed against 118 inspiring and accomplished young women and on March 19, 2023 she was crowned Miss New Jersey USA 2023.  Derby is on a mission to inspire the next generation of leaders by leveraging her multi-talented background, encompassing communication, strategy, pageantry, financial education, and community development.

Derby is excited to reach several communities across New Jersey and spread awareness about financial education. She is passionate about advocating for financial literacy among young people to prepare them for a future of financial freedom and choices. Broadly, she believes that everyone should dream and dream BIG – she is excited to continue empowering people and reminding them that their dreams are valid.

Derby is a member of the Global Investment Strategy Team at JPMorgan Private Bank in Midtown, New York. Before this role, she worked at the New Jersey Private Bank alongside a team responsible for advising ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, and foundations on various wealth management matters, including asset allocation and investment portfolio construction, lending, and wealth transfer planning. Derby joined J.P. Morgan in 2018 as a Summer Analyst and returned full-time in 2019 after graduating with her undergraduate degrees. She graduated cum laude from Berea College with a BSc. Degree in Business Administration and B.A. degree in Economics. Derby also completed the Harvard Business School Online Credential of Readiness (CoRE) program in 2020 and the Tuck Bridge Business School Program in 2019 – where she received a mini-business school experience. She has always been passionate about finance, business, entrepreneurship, and community development and was able to take on opportunities at Berea College, Wells Fargo, MedLab Media Group, Starting Bloc Fellowship, Colorwave Venture Capital Fellowship, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and VC University. 

Her parents are from the Eastern part of Nigeria from the Igbo tribe – one of the prominent tribes in the country, and she is #ProudlyIgbo. She grew up spending significant holiday periods in the community within the areas where her parents grew up – it was important for her siblings and her to be rooted in their origins. A popular Igbo proverb her parents will share with them is “cheta ada onye i bu” which translates as “remember the daughter of whom you are.” Identity has always been an anchor point growing up, keeping her going for the past few years. 

Derby advocates for the purposeful use of her social media and leverages her Instagram page to share inspirational reels to empower her viewers. She has also been featured on several podcasts, including The Obani Show podcast, the Millenial podcast, and the Financially Naked podcast. Outside of work, she is an award-winning Toastmasters public speaker passionate about creating awareness for financial education. She invests her time in volunteering within her community, mentoring young adults, and empowering people, reminding them that their dreams are valid. 

She envisions becoming the epitome of living a multi-dream lifestyle which serves as an inspiration to young people across the globe to try new things and turn their dreams into realities. One critical aspect of having a multi-dream is utilizing an adaptable educational approach. Derby strongly believes in the power of knowledge and understands that the landscape of the educational system needs to adapt to the current changes to ensure youths are maximizing their capabilities. To impact change in this field, in 2019, she was part of the Revive the Dream Fellowship, where she collaborated with diverse professionals and students to understand the educational system in New York City. Derby has focused on developing a dynamic post-graduation life experience by challenging herself to hone critical skills relevant to life and the world of work. In 2020, she participated in the Shine boot camp, where she was able to develop her speaking skills v and present virtually to an audience of 100+ people.

Derby is honored and excited to be Miss New Jersey USA 2023 and she is on a mission to use her voice, story, and actions for people in New Jersey, the United States, and around the world. 

Fun Facts

  • I am a 1st generation Nigerian-American, grew up in Nigeria for 17 years, and returned to the United States in 2015 to pursue my college education.
  • I graduated valedictorian of my high school in 2014 – I attended Louisville Girls High School, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State.
  • In 2018, I did a program in Madrid, Spain, working in a startup working on expanding telemedicine in Southeast Asia.
  • I am an award-winning Toastmasters Public Speaker – won 2nd Place in the Division contest for 2022, Humorous Speech Contest 3rd place in the District contest for the 2021 International Speech contest.
  • I am a student mentor with the Young Women in Finance Program in London, UK.
  • In 2020, I won 1st place for the WomensActivism.NYC Story Writing Contest. 
  • In 2022, I was named a Women of Inspiration Award Finalist – the Women of Inspiration Award recognizes the achievement of women who lead, inspire, and motivate.
  • Traveling is my love language – I have visited 26 US states and four continents – Africa, Europe, North America, and South America
  • I attended college in Berea, Kentucky at Berea College and obtained 2 degrees – Bachelors in Business Administration (Finance) and Economics (Business) on a full scholarship.
  • In 2018, I was one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholars.
  • In 2021, I was the youngest guest speaker at the Berea College convocation, where I got to speak to 800+ students.
  • I can read 200 pages of a book in 2 hours and write 500 words in 10 minutes.
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