Jordana, '07 shares, that one of her favorite parts of JBS was "Being a part of the student team that helped create JBS when I was a student at Humanities Prep, and a member of the very first graduating class." She remembers a memorable moment of "Playing a role in the Emmitt Till play, as the woman who accused him. It was the toughest most emotional journey playing a role I have ever done. To know the truth behind her words and the impact that they had on so many lives broke me, but also led me down the path of fighting for justice that I am on today.”
Commitment to Justice has always been important to Jordana who states, "“Justice has always been at the forefront of what I hold near and dear to me. I came to the US as a child and grew up witnessing consistent acts of inequality between Black and other minority communities at an outstanding rate and knew that fighting for justice and equality was my reason for being.”
Since JBS, Jordana received her BS in Sports Management at Barry University in Florida and went on to receive her MBA in Sports Revenue Generation from Nova Southeastern University while working for several sports teams and college bowl organizations. She's currently the head paralegal for Housing Rights Unit of the Legal Aid Society in Broward County Florida, and in May, 2021 she will graduate Cum Laude with her Juris Doctor and take the Florida Bar exam. Additionally, she serves as the President of the Black Law Student Association and is President of the Sports and Environment Law Society at Nova Southeastern University College of Law, and is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. She's looking forward to eventually moving back to New York to open her own practice.
Patricia, '10 shares, "I loved town meetings - it was the best thing, the whole school together every Thursday discussing anything led by us and our crew. We touched on a lot of topics, and I for sure enjoyed watching my class mates as well as participating. Crew olympics were lit. JBS always found ways to keep us all connected; I appreciate all those moments!”
She remembers crew stating, “I was in Chamber's crew and it impacted me a big deal. He never gave up on me, rooted for me, and took us on the best annual Six Flags trips. With Chambers in our crew meeting, he let us lead whatever we wanted to talk about or share. He made it an open platform, and I always appreciated that peace in the middle of school.”
Patricia received her associate's degree in childhood education and currently works in a bank. She has two beautiful children and is looking forward to making more memories with her family.
“In these times we must remember to be kind to one another, and not lose our humanity because we feel others have." - Patricia, '10
Bianca, '16 remembers town meetings and crew as well as restorative justice lessons learned through peer resolution. One of her top memories is “When we did the 'Hands Up, Don’t Shoot' photoshoot and seminar” as part of a Black Lives Matter action.
She states that “James Baldwin helped me understand that commitment to justice was a core value that was important to my life. Because of that, I have found my purpose in life and I have decided to become a lawyer so that I can help young people and people who look like me overcome obstacles we have to face.”
Bianca is currently a senior at an HBCU in Florida pursuing her bachelor's degree in law and government. She's a member of Delta Sigma Theta and many honors societies, and she speaks on a national level for foster care.
Alina shares, “There is so much that I appreciated about being a student at JBS, that it's hard for me to have a favorite "part". But if I had to name a time at JBS that stuck with me as a "part", it would definitely be the class trips. I really appreciated getting to go on college trips with other students, and having the opportunity to explore my options because of the resources that JBS provided and continues to provide for there students! Thank you JBS for inspiring me to go to Hampshire College!”
She highlights the core value Commitment to Justice sharing, "“During my time at Hampshire College is where I was able to, for the first time, be a part of real social justice campus protests and engage with the student groups to raise awareness for the issues that needed reform or accountability. After Hampshire College I found that becoming a birth Doula, is becoming a member of a group of women that not only assist other women with labor and delivery to meet there baby, but to help women advocate for the birth that they want despite western medicine and pressure from medical professionals. I not only plan on continuing to be a birth Doula, but am looking at Midwifery to be able to work with more women, more closely to bring them a positive birth experience that they can remember.”
Alina studied for two years at Hampshire College and then got a job as a phlebotomist working in a doctor's office. She has been accepted to UMass Dartmouth's Women's and Gender Studies online program to finish her B.A. and intends to study to become a Midwife.
"The experience of being able to speak out and express ourselves even in our class discussion taught me skills that I cherish and utilize to this day! I learned that being outspoken doesn't mean being disrespectful, I learned that it is okay to ask hard questions and have difficult discussions as that it the only way we as people will grow our mind, our perspective and our skills." - Katherine,'09
Mayasha says, "“My favorite part of attending JBS would have to be the life long friends that I have." She remembers that, "My crew was filled with a lot of personalities. It was always laughs when we were in crew and everyone needs a little pick up before c block.”
Mayasha remembers Commitment to Peace and states, "“The JBS core value of commitment to peace speaks to me because JBS teachers and staff always found a way to have a positive outlook with whatever obstacles was thrown their way.”"
Since graduation, Mayasha has obtained an associate's degree in occupational studies and attends Bowie State University majoring in nursing and minoring in psychology.
Katherine, '09 fondly remembers crew, Outward Bound trips, and all classes. She found English classes to be "life changing [as] we discussed topics that were eye opening and expanded all of our knowledge and understanding of the world."
Reflecting on the JBS core value of Commitment to Justice, Katherine states, “In my opinion all Core Values are important but Commitment to Justice was valuable to me as it was a new concept, being an immigrant who at the time had only been in the country for 3 years I didn’t think I had a right or a choice to be outspoken, use my voice to demand justice for myself or others and Baldwin taught me that Justice is like a muscle we all need to be committed and in pursuit of it in order to achieve it. I also learned commitment to justice doesn't necessarily mean screaming asking for change but instead it means being the change, making daily decisions that ensure Justice for all of those in our community, it means standing up for whats right in small ways. If we all do our part in our spaces, our communities then Justice becomes achievable.”
Katherine graduated from college in 2013 and has been working in the education field supporting students and families in low income communities and temporary housing.
“Initially, before JBS I associated intellect with being smart. Looking back, it's not about tests or grades. I think intellect has a lot to do with what you are offering the world." - Angelica, '18
Angelica, '18 shares, “One of my many favorites would be the Outward Bound Trip. If I could tell my younger self, I would tell myself to go, I would tell myself that this is very rewarding and goes more than the half credit I needed for gym. I think it was a good way to get to know my peers and mentors at such a personal level. I also enjoyed when we were separated and had time for ourselves to reflect. You really do see that we all have battles and struggles. We are more alike than we think we’re not."
She remembers participating in Screenprinting and Vox and reflects that "Looking back at it they both go hand and hand, I was also a part of them both. In regards to Vox, it was amazing to see how each individual expresses themselves, it being through art or poetry. You really dive deep and get a better look at that person. In regards to screen printing, I’m not sure what would be the right word. Perhaps therapeutic? Time goes by very quick when you enjoy something. It was so nice to have an additional safe space to zone out and spend time with my friends while making really cool project and learning a new skill.”
These days, Angelica is studying to be a registered nurse and staying in touch with JBS friends.
Grasiela, '21 shares her favorite part of JBS was "Definitely crew and town meetings and OUTWARD BOUND!!!" and she fondly remembers crew with TamJam and Rob's literature classes. She remembers "Tamra and Jamie and wayyyy too many of my crewbies" including Becca, Lyn, Alma, Yari, Joel, Jared, Pedro, Janay, Moises, and so many more. She enjoyed talking with the crew and expressing certain topics during circles and building connections during Outward Bound.
Reflecting on the JBS core value of Respect for Intellect, Grasiela states, "I feel like everyone has knowledge and wisdom in different topic and situations whether it’s life or school related. Respecting others intellect and helping others to understand different things is important. Also, respect of diversity is 100000% important. Everyone has different backgrounds and see things differently and everyone has different reactions and emotions. Respect & Love others."
These days, Grasiela is busy at class at BMCC or serving up gelato at her job.