Jim St. Germain

Jim St. Germain

Co-founder


Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT)

New York, NY USA


When you find people who refuse to give up on you and show you that you matter, it compels you to not let those individuals down...systems don’t change people, people change people.

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born in Haiti but raised in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, he grew up in poverty and surrounded by violence.
Before moving to the United States, he didn’t attend school regularly—there is almost no public education offered in Haiti, and his family never had enough money to afford private school.
His father was an addict and physically abusive toward him, his mother, and his siblings—as a result, Jim thought violence was how you dealt with problems, so he was always getting into fights.
To assimilate into life in Brooklyn, he began hanging out in the streets, skipping school, and going down a negative path—says in his neighborhood, you were either “predator or prey.”
Started selling marijuana when he was 14 and eventually began selling harder drugs—he’d been arrested more than a dozen times by the time he was 15.
At 16, he was charged with two felonies, but instead of prison, he was sent to “Boys Town,” a rehabilitation center—says being in the system liberated him from the environment that was crushing him.
Through the help of mentors and positive role models, he eventually received his GED and graduated from college with a degree in political science.
He is now an author, motivational speaker, mentor, nonprofit founder, policy advisor, and a passionate advocate for criminal justice reform, particularly in regards to the juvenile justice system.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

ged
GED
associates
Associate's Degree
Human Services, General
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
undergrad
Bachelor
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Career

Career

Co-founder

I am a nonprofit founder and mentor advocating for at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Politics
Politics
Upholding a Cause and Belief
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

I work with countless local, state and federal officials advising on matters related to juvenile justice, mentoring, mental health, substance abuse, and educational issues.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

People skills. Take interests in issues that are bigger than yourself and learn how to advocate for them.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Learn about the issues and get involved.

Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"When you grow up, you are either going to be an athlete or a drug dealer."

Growing up, those were the only options that every kid thought was available to them and I leaned into that idea and started dealing drugs as a teenager. It took me getting arrested and experiencing the system to free me from that toxic environment and get my life back on track. However, I couldn't have done that without the mentors and positive role models I met along the way. You need to find people who will support you and believe in you no matter what and use that to motivate you to success.

Challenges I Overcame

Socio-Economic Origin
Socio-Economic Origin

Grew up in poverty in Haiti without running water or electricity and later moved into the projects in Brooklyn, NY.

Gangs / Violence
Gangs / Violence

I was abused by my father along with the other members of my family. That along with the neighborhood I grew up in, taught me to solve my own problems with violence which caused me to get arrested multiple times as a teenager. I've grown beyond that.

Learning Issues
Learning Issues

I didn't go to school regularly when I lived in Haiti because my family couldn't afford to send me to school. When I came to the U.S., I was far behind and it took me a very long time to catch back up.

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