JUMP Nation hosts summer reunion
By Lindsay Horne '13, member of JUMP Nation Executive Board
(From left to right: JUMP Nation e-board members Barrington Burgess, Jodeily Antigua, James Corley, Jasmin Martinez, Matthew Stevens, Alexandria Blackman, Anne Jean-Paul, Njumea Holder, Rasheed Bility, Lindsay Horne.)
On July 16, the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program, otherwise known as JUMP Nation, hosted its 20th Annual Summer Reunion at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. We had an amazing turnout of approximately 50 attendees, including protégés, mentors, hosts, family members, general body members and alumni. We were also pleasantly surprised by an appearance from one of our founders, Kevin Hoo '96, and his daughter Kelsey, who participated in our 20th Annual JUMP Weekend this past spring. The protégés enjoyed the reunion as they reminisced about their weekend at Binghamton in the spring, and discussed plans for their first year of high school while playing games, listening to music and eating.
Founded in 1991, JUMP Nation celebrates 20 years of success. We continue efforts to decrease the high-school dropout rate, while increasing enrollment into institutions of higher learning. Our founders established this organization to serve “at-risk” inner-city youth in New York City, as well as those in the Binghamton community and its surrounding areas. Identifying these inner-city students as protégés, JUMP Nation recognizes the potential to succeed that exists within each and every student, regardless of age, sex, race, creed or socio-economic status.
Our biggest event, JUMP Weekend, serves approximately 60-70 protégés every year, along with 120-140 Binghamton students. These Binghamton students serve as JUMP's mentors and hosts. Additionally, students who are executive board members of other campus organizations also plan and facilitate forums for our protégés throughout the weekend. The weekend not only involves students of different ages, but it also engages faculty, as well as Binghamton University alumni. We see this weekend as a unique opportunity to expose the protégés to as many aspects of college life as possible.
Acknowledging that four days is not enough time to build a strong mentor-protégé relationship, we stress a five-year commitment between mentors, hosts and protégés. This allows the mentors and hosts to assist and guide these young students throughout high school, up until their freshman year of college. JUMP Weekend is just a beginning. To honor our five-year commitment, JUMP Nation also hosts annual summer and winter reunions to remain in contact with everyone who has participated in JUMP Weekend and with all of our supporters who have helped us grow for another year.
We also organize an annual Leadership Conference in the fall which we devote to high school students in Binghamton and the surrounding area. Throughout the school year, we also host a number of fundraisers and events on campus, such as our annual banquet, a Valentine's Day Dating Game and a Finals and Midterm Relief Fair, all accompanied by our weekly general body meetings. This year, we will kick off the semester with our 20th Annual Banquet titled “An Evening of Success, A Black Tie Affair", where we will honor our past, record the present and plan our future.