Jay Rayford

Jay Rayford


Social Sushi

Detroit, MI USA

One of the benefits of college is being exposed to different people from all walks of life and being able to take that perspective and do anything with it. Your network is your net worth.


By Roadtrip Nation

Jay Rayford


My road in life has taken me all over.
Born and raised in Detroit, MI.
Admits he only started taking school seriously in high school mainly because he wanted to get out of his house and away from the negativity of his neighborhood.
While in high school, he took community college and vocational classes completing coursework in in both electrical engineering and automotive design.
Was involved with FIRST Robotics, an international robotics competition that gives students real-world engineering experience—says this introduced him to teamwork and building ideas.
Interned at General Motors during his junior and senior year of high school—after graduation, he began working in various technical roles in the automotive industry, but kept getting laid off.
Decided to switch his career path slightly and started pursuing electrical engineering—this enabled him to leave Detroit for the first time and live in Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Discovered the negative perceptions many people had of Detroit and decided to do something to change that—moved back to Detroit and began pursuing local community development initiatives.
Says he found his niche was in connecting and bringing people together—co-founded Social Sushi, a sustainable sushi catering and events company designed to bring together diverse Detroit locals.
Keep following my journey



I pursue ways to effectively impact urban communities utilizing civic engagement, social media and networking.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

I am usually busy planning pop-ups and community events. I am also working with my co-founders, designers, and business reps to help open our first brick & mortar location for Social Sushi. You will also find me networking and trying to come up with new ways to involve the community and bring people together.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Get involved in everything you can. Join clubs at school, take community college classes, do sports, whatever it is you are interested in. Collect as many learning experiences as you can!

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"Detroit is dead. Don't go back because there aren't any opportunities."

Challenges I Overcame

Gangs / Violence
Career Change
First-Generation College Student