Thursday, April 23, 2009

John Robertson, South Eastern Network for Youth and Family Services

To whom it may concern,
Jesse Jordan, and the work he has accomplished as Director of Project Lighthouse @ Sea Haven On the Boulevard, has dazzled and enlightened me since Jesse and I first met in 1998. I find Jesse’s specific brand of “Social Pioneerism” to be inspiring, fresh and with few peers in traditional social service practice. As a trained professional in the youth and family services field myself, I understand the less than glamorous side or providing vital services to young people who are struggling to find their place in this world. I believe the best of intentions often fall short of reaching difficult youth populations due to an inability to communicate our common values in a message that youth recognize as their own.
Jesse is both an interpreter and ambassador for traditional social services and our milieu of care. As a self-described “Reluctant Social Worker” Jesse articulates the shortcomings of approaching youth who are challenged by real world violence, poverty, and hopelessness with the traditional language of human services. Jesse is a Master’s Degree therapist and a 20 year veteran of social work. I have begun to doubt his reluctance. His commitment to at-risk youth is unquestionable.
Jesse Jordan has a gift. He inspires individuals to see themselves in the very best of light. As a former drill sergeant he barks us toward greater understanding. As a world traveler, he celebrates all cultures and the lessons that lay obvious before our eyes. As an adopted son he intimately understands the sense of displacement many young people feel every day. Jesse brings all of his personal and professional life experiences to bear when confronting a problem like few others.
His practices are proven. I have spent profound moments with young people, now 16 or 17 years old, who casually relate that they have grown up in the protective folds of Project Lighthouse. Self-assured, bright, motivated young people who describe the less than perfect circumstance of their upbringing and can tell you of many of instances where Jesse and his teammates were there to encourage, support, and provide what they needed to make it.
Loud music, thought-provoking photos of faraway places, funny glasses, silly characters, some call it whimsical, avant garde, or maverick but I personally have found it all to be one simple thing. Effective.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss this recommendation.
John Robertson M.S. Southeastern Network for Youth and Family Services

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