Jill Denham (formerly Conroy)
JFS Recipient 1995-2003
"Never give up on your goals, regardless of how challenging they may be—it's sometimes through the hardest times that you find out most about yourself—and in the end it will be very rewarding."
Finding Her Own Path
Jill Denham graduated from Fairfield University with a degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing. While at Fairfield University she played Lacrosse and studied abroad in Paris, France. A love of science inspired a pre-med major, but Jill switched to business and communications when she discovered an interest in public speaking and developing and delivering presentations. After graduating, upon the recommendation of a family friend and attorney, Jill took a paralegal position at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, a big law firm in New York. "I loved the attorneys I worked with, and found that I loved law," Jill recalls.
Jill earned her JD at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. During her time at Loyola, she worked at the Cook County State's Attorney's office, and gained litigation experience. She also clerked at Daley and George, Limited in Chicago which led her to her current position. As an associate at Daley and George, a small general law practice, Jill has had the opportunity to explore all different areas of law. "I am learning so much, it is a great position," says Jill. Through her evolution from the State's office to Daley and George, Jill has found that she really enjoys the commercial real estate aspect of law. "There is so much development in Chicago, it makes it exciting," says Jill. Being the only attorney in her family—she is proud of taking on and accomplishing an unknown and challenging path.
Always Up For a Challenge
Jill loves to challenge herself and take risks—aiming to always keep life interesting. She has completed two 26-mile Chicago marathons. Ambition and dedication has led Jill to accomplish many goals already, but she plans to keep on striving for many more. She finds something new she would like to achieve each and every day. "It may be something little, like finishing a few books, running a faster or a further distance than I did the month before—or it maybe something major like advancing my education or even starting a whole new career," says Jill. She would love to someday start a family of her own with her husband, Craig, so that she can love and care for her children as has her parents did with her and her siblings.
The Gift of Motivation
Jill credits the Jefferies Family Scholarship for inspiring her to excel in school. "It made me feel so lucky, I just wanted to do better—it was a gift of motivation." Coming from a family of six children it was a great help financially to Jill's family. "I don't think I would have had the experiences I have had without JFS, I still worked but it gave me more time," says Jill. Jill's sister, Kristina, also benefited from the scholarship program. Always a great inspiration to Jill, their father, John Conroy worked at Jefferies for 20 years in the International Finance department in New York.
Jill hopes to have the financial ability to give back to those who helped her along the way, and to help and encourage the less fortunate to achieve their dreams.