Jabari Yemonja-Olukun ‘14 feels compassion for people who are often overlooked. She wants to tell their stories and let them know know that they matter. To use her voice to make a difference in the world. She also wants to capture history and document important issues in the media and politics. This fall, she’ll attend Spelman College where she’ll major in documentary filmmaking.
Foremost in her mind is a project to document the stories of her grandmother and her grandmother’s sisters. To learn what it was like for them to grow up in Jersey City during another era. I can’t wait for the screening!
When I think of Jabari, I picture that confident and loving eighth grade girl who said that her proudest MSS achievement was being a role model for younger students. I remember her serving as an intern in the first grade during mini term and volunteering to play with younger students at park throughout the year.
It’s who she is: someone who turns love into action.
While attending High Tech High School, Jabari spent hours each week with inner city youth at New City Kids as a middle school tutor, bass drum teacher, and keyboard teacher. She’s sensitive to students who struggle. Through extraordinary perseverance and the help of her teachers, she’s overcome the challenges of ADHD. More than that. She’s thrived.
Today Jabari’s a team leader among the high school students at New City Kids. A woman who others can look up to. Someone who hopes to intern at a television news station one day. Who cares about education and wants to earn a Ph.D. A generous spirit. A woman who’s already making a difference.
“Thank you for making these opportunities possible. Any little gesture of support affects children at MSS in a big way. No matter what you do—if you give, pray, or volunteer, it all helps. You keep the doors open for children here.”