Imari K. Paris Jeffries

“I think seeing kids having fun and getting an opportunity to just enjoy their childhood has to be one of the best moments for me; you can tell that they are lost in the moment of being just a kid in a pool, not a young person who’s here because they need support.”

 

Interviewee: Imari K. Paris Jeffries 

Interviewer: Kayla C., Grade 11

Interview Date: December 11, 2014

Interview Location: Italian Home for Children, Jamaica Plain, MA

Student Reflection:
 

Imari Jeffries is the CEO of the Italian Home for Children. He recently began working for the Italian Home For Children seven months ago. Prior to working for the Italian Home Mr. Jeffries entered the army right out of high school, then began working at a national nonprofit organization which required him to travel a lot. He more recently worked at an early childhood education organization before becoming the CEO at the Italian Home for Children. Mr. Jeffries is a passionate advocate for children with mental health issues and children who are having difficulties in their home or community. He strives to end the stigma around mental health issues and tries to improve other people’s lives. A major area Mr. Jeffries focuses on is finding a way to destigmatize going to see a therapist. Mr. Jeffries is a truly inspiring man who is passionate about his work and strives to improve the lives of people in his community in any way he can.

 

“The biggest thing we try to provide is a loving, nurturing, and safe environment.”

“This idea of helping your community, being a part of your community, rebuilding the community, being a community organizer and making a living for it, I think is like a calling where you feel compelled to help.”

“At the end of the day I just want people to have happy lives.”

“You can do this caring for others in different settings.”

“I’m passionate about mental health, but I’m more passionate about people.”

“I like when you can see children really enjoying themselves and being happy.”

“Our biggest achievement has been the thousands of children that have been here who have gone on to live great lives.”

“I think seeing kids having fun and getting an opportunity to just enjoy their childhood has to be one of the best moments for me; you can tell that they are lost in the moment of being just a kid in a pool, not a young person who’s here because they need support.”

“Working with children has changed my life.”

“I just wanted to do the work and volunteer.”

“I got this job and it changed my world”

“I have a lot to learn, the learning doesn’t stop.”

“Doing this work in my community means something, and I like to be able to both live in a big city like Boston, but feel like it’s a small town.”

“I feel more grounded in my community and inspired by my work.”

“Activism is a calling and can take shape in many different ways. It’s a balance.”