Meet RESPECT Board Member: Jermaine Jones

Why is RESPECT important to you?
RESPECT is important to me because of the many positive messages that are expressed during each play and talk back. Today’s youth, educators, and adults need to be reminded of how impactful our conversations and relationships are. The impact of our words and actions towards one another make a huge impact in one’s self esteem and self-fulfillment. I believe, as a society, we need to be reminded of these things. RESPECT is the premier organization focused on reminding us of these sentiments.

What is your favorite RESPECT program and why?
I’ve always loved the program Choices. This program stresses the importance of making good sound decisions despite peer pressure or what others make think. In my experience working with youth, so many youth are so worried about what their friends may think about the decisions they make, whether it be a constructive or potentially destructive decision. The many themes displayed in this program will always be relevant for our youth.

How did you get involved with RESPECT?
During my time working with the Avenue Scholars Program from 2010 to 2015, RESPECT provided several programs for our high school participants. During this time, I grew to really admire the work of Dr. Newman and her team. Our students always enjoyed the programs and great conversations took place amongst the students. During that time, I also joined the board of RESPECT and I have been a part of the Board ever since. I also enjoyed serving at Board chair at one point.

What would it have been like to have RESPECT when you were a kid in school?
I believe my peer group would have enjoyed the several programs during the time I was in school. I can remember there being a lot of gang activity on the rise during my middle school and high school years. There were also a slight uptick in teen moms while I was in high school. I feel very confident the RESPRECT programs would have been impactful to the youth during my middle and high school years. Some of the themes of the programs would have needed a tweak here and there, but they would have still been influential.

What do you like about being on the board of RESPECT?
Being on the board is a great way to not only give back to the community, but another way to continue impacting today’s youth in different ways. I also enjoy connecting RESPECT to various other organizations to assist in increasing the footprint of RESPECT. It’s always fulfilling in connecting people for positive purposes.