Berkeley Today Stories
Berkeley College Alumnus of the Year Inspires through Youth Mentoring and Motivational Speaking
Before enrolling at Berkeley College, Edison Jaquez was mixed up in hard crime. It took two key moments to make Mr. Jaquez turn his life around. One was losing friends to the streets, jail, and gun violence. The other was being in jail when his son was 2 years old. “That’s when I made a promise to myself, to my son, and to my family to stop,” Mr. Jaquez said.
Mr. Jaquez, who moved from the Dominican Republic to Perth Amboy, NJ, with his family at the age of 7, went on to pursue a career in youth mentoring after graduating from Berkeley College in 2009 with a B.S. in Business Management. Since 2011, he has worked as the Program Coordinator for the Civic Justice Corps at the Jewish Renaissance Foundation in Perth Amboy, NJ, where he is responsible for program training and fiscal management while working with at-risk youth, ages 16 to 24. Mr. Jaquez also serves as CEO/Founder of B-Men and co-founder of BYOUtiful, two mentoring organizations designed to enhance the lives of today’s youth.
Berkeley College also helped Mr. Jaquez prepare for and launch a successful career in motivational speaking. He speaks openly about his struggles with crime as a youth to audiences throughout the U.S. He is also an author, and has detailed his past experiences in the book, “A Second Chance; Life Lessons Turned into Living Dreams.”
Mr. Jaquez was honored when he received the Alumnus of the Year Award from Berkeley College in 2016 for his contributions to the community. He has also received the Principles for Life Education Award from the I Can Foundation, and an Award of Recognition from the United Dominicans of Perth Amboy.