DJ Cherif is the Chief Academic Officer at University Prep Schools, the largest charter network in Detroit Michigan. In her role, she is responsible for setting the vision and creating the academic strategy for the network. She was formerly the Executive Director of K-12 Academics and Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction for K-12 Mathematics.
She began her career in education as a teacher at Barack Obama Leadership Academy as a 2011 Teach For America-Detroit Corps Member. She then became the Dean of Students and College at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, graduating 99% of the senior class with 100% post-secondary acceptance. At the age of 27 years old, DJ became the youngest building administrator ever in Washtenaw County when she returned to Ypsilanti Community Schools, the school district she graduated from as a student.
DJ was recognized by Corp! Magazine as one of Michigan’s 2021 Most Valuable Millenials and received The Overall Most Valuable Millennial Award.
DJ is a proud HBCU alum, a graduate of Hampton University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and criminal justice and earned a Master of Arts in Education and Urban Pedagogy from the University of Michigan.
She serves on various foundation and advisory boards that provide grants to teachers and scholarships to high school students. DJ is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.