“AHO had the Youth Connect where I got all the help I needed in one place on one day.”
“AHO continues [to] help me and I am very grateful. At the Youth Connect, I realized that I wanted to help other homeless youth that are in the same position that I have been.”
Listen to Jordan in His Own Words
AHO Youth Ambassador – My name is Jordon, but I like to be called Jay Jonis. I was homeless for 4 years in Marin. Today, I am working and I have my own place, paying rent. I have been an Ambassador of Hope for the organization that helped me get on my feet. I have also been a student at College of Marin studying to become a nurse and to get a certificate at solar power installation. While in school, with the support of AHO, I worked at Best buy in San Rafael and have worked for the Conservation Corps on an organic farm at the College of Marin Indian Valley campus in Novato.
My family split up when I was real young. I mostly stayed with my father and battled homelessness at a young age.
I was introduced to Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity (AHO), a nonprofit working with homeless youth, through Vince. Vince was 20 years old and the AHO youth outreach advisor. Through Vince, I met Zara, AHO Founder and Director and she helped me find housing, a private dentist (that is helping me with my gum disease), legal help, an orthopedic surgeon for my broken finger and more. I am even having opportunities to speak on panels before the CA State legislature about the discrimination homeless youth deal with in housing, employment and law enforcement.
AHO’s Youth Team produced a Youth Connect where I got all the help I needed in one place on one day. This was the help I needed to get back on track. AHO continues help me and I am very grateful. At the Youth Connect, I realized that I wanted to help other homeless youth that are in the same position that I have been. I have been involved with the AHO project ever since as a Youth Ambassadors of Hope and a member of the AHO Youth Team. The Team’s goals are to bring attention, education and funding to AHO. The first project I helped out with was the San Rafael Fourth Street Festival where AHO had a booth. There, I talked to people who were interested in knowing about what AHO was about. After that I helped with the AHO Car Washes for a Cause, which raised $7,800. I had a great time at doing this and am continuing to help in any way I can.
My goals for myself are to stay on the right track and get my degree in nursing. My goals for AHO is to help out with all projects and to help keep the heart beating in this one and only non-profit to help homeless youth in Marin county.
Update: In 2011, I became a soldier at the Salvation Army and am studying to become a youth pastor. I also plan to take mission trips this summer around the world to help with poverty stricken areas and to spread the word of Jesus Christ. Currently enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College studying psychology and communications. [Return to Youth Stories]