To whom it may concern,
Occasionally we work with young people, or cross paths with someone who has that ‘something’ that causes the rest of us to inhale deeply, grin, and say “Wow, I wish I could do that” as we watch them weave their magic with those ‘kids’ we thought had no respect for the adults around them. This is just exactly how I have come to see Jesse Jordan as I have watched him connect with many, many youth over the past 10 years.
Jesse first came to work as a staff member of the Sea Haven Shelter, where it became obvious that he had the ability to communicate with young people; to find the button that allowed them to look at themselves and the situation in which they found themselves; to deal with today’s issues and relate those issues to other aspects of their lives; to help them negotiate through serious incidents avoiding major conflict and, at the same time, allowing each party to feel successful in the outcome.
When Sea Haven won a grant to initiate the Street Outreach project for runaway/homeless ‘street kids’, it was the perfect match for Mr. Jordan’s energy and talent. The program, called Project Lighthouse On the Boulevard, a drop-in center for youths on the street, was conceived, designed, and launched through Jesse’s creative inspirations. After the initial process of putting the program in place it was obvious that the facility, and its captivating atmosphere, had the potential to serve other populations. With very little fanfare, Jesse inaugurated an after-school reading program for children from Canal Street Recreation Center, using students from Coastal Carolina University for fantastic one-on-one read aloud sessions. Then, with another of those ‘smart and simple’ innovations, he introduced ten minutes of great conversation into the reading program, giving these children the experience of learning to converse with adult partners; making eye contact, introducing themselves, and initiating topics of interest. And, again I wondered “Why didn’t I think of that?” It was such a simple and ingenious way to engage both the children and the adults. Not so amazingly, children competed to attend these reading sessions. And well, over a 100 different students from Coastal Carolina volunteered to spend 2 hours 2-3 days a week participating as reading mentors for the children in the period of one year. He has since added other innovative programs for children, youth and their families, that include art opportunities, motivating seminars, and internships for both teens and University students.
I have observed situations between youth and adults where tempers are flying; everyone, including the adult, is out of focus, and Jesse can step in, calming tempers and eventually with all parties maintaining their dignity, reach a reasonable compromise. It is his ability to show respect for each individual, analyze the situation, encourage compromise, and help the participants to take responsibility for their own actions. One might call it magic, but it is simply intuitive for Jesse Jordan.
In all my years of teaching, counseling, and working with children and young people, I have never met anyone who has a more highly developed sense of awareness and instinct for inspiring youth to connect, to consider options, to aspire, to believe in themselves, and even to accept humility. It would be remiss of me if I did not speak on behalf of Jesse’s integrity and his reliable sense of values. He stresses always, to young people, the value of education, of work, and of aspiring to be the best they can. He can evoke a sense of fun, adventure and the ridiculous as he weaves his spells and sounds out his message. Whether with individuals or groups, Jesse is an effective motivator of people, sympathetic but firm, discouraging the drama in peoples’ lives, and encouraging ‘starting now’ to improve their own personal quality of life. As is obvious, I would recommend Jesse Jordan for any situation where can, and will, influence people with his with own personal style of counsel.
Barbara A.Martin Consultant to Sea Haven Inc.