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From Graduation to City Hall: A Recent Alumnus Thrives as Executive Assistant to Mayor’s Chief of Staff

Nyah Peyton celebrates her May 2023 graduation from UA Little Rock with her parents at the Jack Stephens Center.
Nyah Peyton celebrates her May 2023 graduation from UA Little Rock with her parents at the Jack Stephens Center.

Embarking on a remarkable journey straight from the graduation podium, a recent UA Little Rock graduate has quickly found a pivotal role in local government.

As the executive assistant to Kendra Pruitt, chief of staff for Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., Nyah Peyton, a native of Maumelle, is gaining insight into the inner workings of city administration while cultivating invaluable real-world experience.

A graduate of Little Rock Central High School, Peyton found her niche at UA Little Rock. She graduated in May with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing and a minor in psychology.

Peyton met her future employer when Pruitt led a vision board workshop at the UA Little Rock Multicultural Center, where Peyton worked as the diversity and cultural programs events chair.

“I was very impressed with many of the students, but Nyah stood out with her professional demeanor and leadership qualities,” Pruitt said. “We connected via social media, and I witnessed her maturity and advocacy for others over the next few months. Around May, I reached out to see if she might be interested in working with me over the summer. Then, I learned she was graduating, and she jumped at the opportunity to work with me at the City of Little Rock.”

With Pruitt, Peyton said she’s been lucky to find a boss, mentor, and friend all in one who is teaching her how to lead a successful life.

“Kendra is a very busy person, and she is helping me to learn the importance of managing your time as a professional,” Peyton said. “She is connecting me with a vast network of people. She is a good friend who has shown me how to transition from college life to a professional life.”

Pruitt described Peyton as a hard worker who has excelled as her job in a short period of time.

“She is a fast learner, and she accepts constructive criticism well,” Pruitt said. “I’ve thrown a lot of things her way in a short period of time, and she has shown great promise with time-management, communication, and operations. I am grateful to have her on our team, and I hope this experience proves fruitful for her.”

Working for the City of the Little Rock is the first step along a path that will undoubtedly lead to a bright future for Peyton. Among her many career ambitions, she plans to earn a Master of Business Administration and a law degree, write her second book of poetry, as well as start a marketing research company and a gym.

“I was an athlete all my life until college, so fitness and wellness are a big part of my life, and I’d like to pass it on,” Peyton said. “Not only would I like to have a gym, but I’d also like to start a nonprofit that focuses on financial literacy, test and college preparation, and other ways to make the community more accessible for young people to succeed.”