GLOBAL SPEAKER. PHILANTHROPIST. AUTHOR. CELEBRITY & PRO SPORTS LIFE STRATEGIST.
An upbeat, outgoing, vision-oriented, social entrepreneur, global speaker, celebrity & pro sports life strategist, author and philanthropist whose passion, determination and willingness to motivate others, take risks and be a leader have been the catalyst to the hallmarks of her career. Her tenacity and work ethic have enabled her to make an impact on countless individuals, families, businesses, organizations, schools and communities throughout the world.
A seasoned strategist, visionary & change agent, Jacquelyn, affectionately known as "Jakki" or “Jax” was born and raised in Morristown, NJ. She attended The Peck School and left home at the age of fourteen to attend boarding school at the prestigious and internationally known, Blair Academy. At eighteen, she began working full time and attending college full time. She landed a job at a major recording studio as the Operations Manager and later managed an up and coming recording artist/actress who is now on Broadway. She spent relentless days and nights in the recording studio in New York and New Jersey writing music for different projects; all while staying on top of her academics.
After graduating from college in her early twenties, Jacquelyn started her own high-end ready - to - wear clothing line, OGECHI (translation: God's Time). Her comprehensive message and logo depicted ancient symbols of strength, protection and life. OGECHI was worn by Celebrities, Super Bowl Champions, Presidential Candidates and seen internationally on runways, in magazines, television and in stores. Simultaneously, Jacquelyn wrote for magazines as the Fashion Editor, Celebrity Interviewer and on real life topics such as Parenting and Life-Skills. She spoke at various institutions of higher learning, Business/Community Seminars and the like to share her talent, expertise, entrepreneurial prowess, vision and her story by means of encouraging and empowering others to achieve their dreams and live life more abundantly and with intentionality.
After many years of the grind in the fashion and music industry, Jacquelyn was ready for a change and prepared to transcend to the next chapter in her life. Her oldest brother suddenly died at the age of forty-one after a brief re-lapse in which he ingested a fatal dosage of laced drugs. Shortly thereafter, Jacquelyn got married, had two beautiful children; Olivia and Xavier and moved to Newark, NJ.
She soon realized that her greatest pain had become her greatest passion. She wanted to become a master of her craft and within three years became Certified in Marketing Management from the Rutgers Institute of Management and Entrepreneurial Studies, received her Family Development Credential from the Rutgers University School of Social Work & the State of New Jersey and later graduated from the renowned Lincoln University with her Master's Degree in Human Services with a concentration in Administration and Social Systems Intervention.
Jacquelyn is a member of the Federal Government’s Stronger Families Coalition in which she is actively involved in the Fatherhood Initiative and strengthening families throughout the State of New Jersey and New York from a systemic and strategic perspective. In 2016, she was voted Vice President of the New Jersey Head Start Association’s (NJHSA) - Staff Affiliate. Several months later she became an Elected Board Member of the NJHSA. During her tenure, she worked for the Newark Public Schools – Head Start Program where she successfully designed and implemented various initiatives and coached Family Advocates to help low-income and homeless families and their children set & achieve goals and become self-reliant.
In February 2017, Jacquelyn had the honor of speaking at her alma mater, Blair Academy, to a group of 150 sophomores in the LEADS Program and to Blair staff. The LEADS Program is Blair’s signature leadership and education program designed to teach students essential 21st Century Leadership Skills such as: Leadership communications, Global engagement, Self-awareness, Ethical Decision-making and Service.
Shortly thereafter, she spoke before the United States Senate to testify on behalf of the 2018 Fiscal Budget pertaining to the Opioid Epidemic and the allocation of funds needed to support those struggling with addiction and in recovery. Her voice is also known throughout the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – NJ (NCADD-NJ) where she and her husband became the first husband and wife duo to be accepted into this influential organization that advocates on behalf of those affected by drug and alcohol addiction and their families.
Jacquelyn also received a Proclamation from the United States Senate for her outstanding leadership, advocacy and contributions to society as she worked diligently to bring awareness and rid substance misuse and addiction. Juxtaposed, she co-facilitated her program within the Market Street Mission in Morristown, NJ where she taught life-skills to over one hundred men in recovery. She also completed the requirements for CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery) in 2017 and became a Certified Recovery Coach.
Exercising altruism has always made Jacquelyn feel most fulfilled. She works exceptionally hard and sacrifices to build wealth to achieve her dream of fulfilling the dreams of others. In 2017 she took a leap of faith and resigned from her full-time job to affect even greater social change. Her ability to recognize a need, unwavering commitment and remarkable proficiency in establishing relationships to help engage, nurture and educate others was the conduit to the birth of THE ALTRUISM INITIATIVE.
THE ALTRUISM INITIATIVE is a Non-Profit that provides Skills for the Soul. It provides positive experiences and creates authentic opportunities through Education, Sports & the Arts through Global Leadership, Social Innovation and Empowerment. It is a movement in which caring individuals devote their lives unselfishly to the welfare of others by encouraging them to connect with a higher power and seek the higher virtues of life. Jacquelyn believes that, “We all have the capacity to change, yet we must first ignite the desire.” She accomplishes this mission by lighting the fire and teaching children (Grades 4-12) and their families to live with a deeper sense of purpose and intentionality. The Empowerment Series consists of eight bi-weekly sessions on topics such as Leadership, Service, Life-Skill Development, Health & Nutrition, Financial Literacy, Bullying, Anger Management, Spiritual Responsiveness, Stress Management, Fatherhood/Parenting and Substance Misuse Prevention. Jacquelyn has partnered with the Newark Museum and has facilitated numerous workshops, she has taken a group of children and families to Madison Square Garden to a New York Liberty Basketball Game (WNBA) in which she arranged for the children to go onto the court and “high five” the players as they ran out onto the court to start the game, she also took a group of children and families to the 1st & 2nd Annual Newark International Film Festival in which they met a host of celebrities, walked the Red Carpet and attended a host of insightful and innovative workshops, she has taken families to a Native American Indian Pow Wow, a Rally to end Gun Violence & Abuse and so much more!
At present, THE ALTRUISM INITIATIVE is in the process of raising funds for 2019 to provide scholarships for school/college, extracurricular activities & summer camps for youth whose families may not be able to afford these opportunities. Additionally, this program is seeking funding to purchase Passports and expense coverage to take twenty-five children and families in the program to South Africa.
Most recently, Jacquelyn became a Board Member at The Gray Charter School in Newark, NJ has partnered with the legendary Platinum selling music artist Dupre “Do It All” Kelly of Lords of the Underground & 211 Community Impact, Freedom Williams of C & C Music Factory & Founder of XAIBE (Cryptocurrency Marketplace) and with Collette V. Smith who is the 1st Female to Coach the New York Jets and the 1st African American Female to Coach in the NFL and has partnered with The Newark Museum.
Any role in life that Jakki undertakes is viewed as an opportunity for growth, to evoke a change and simply make a difference. It is with that same drive, that she is capable of making a great impact in the world and inspiring others to do so as well. She just published her first children’s book entitled, “I AM BiGGER AND SO ARE YOU.” This book of empowerment places a lens on helping others to Develop Skills for the Soul. It can be purchased on Amazon. As a result of Jacquelyn’s unyielding work ethic and years of experience and expertise, she is brilliant at whatever she does.