Jemar T. Ward was born in Peoria, Illinois. At three months old he moved to Queens, NY. Raised with strong religious and educational values, Ward cites his great Aunt as his first influence of civic duty: a pillar of her community, Ward learned the meaning of generosity, from her.
Ward had an organized childhood: he went to school and church, and participated in extra-curricular activities such as basketball, and playing the flute and saxophone instruments.
Later, Ward attended Binghamton University and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, and Master’s in Public Administration – graduating him to his job with a nonprofit called Business Interface, which helps at-risk youth (18-25) find employment.
“Johnny Cochran told me, ‘preparation, preparation, preparation.’ It stayed with me,” said Ward.
An advocate for education and employment in his community, Jemar T. Ward has focused his work on helping under-served communities; he mentors young adults (of low income background) obtain employment through job placement referrals and job training programs. Ward believes that the cycle of poverty can be broken by investing in the youth.
The highlights of Ward’s career are in the “thanks” people tell him, who he has helped to secure employment. “It is equally troublesome to encounter people, who cannot or do not adapt the skills and habits necessary to be marketable in the workforce,” Ward said.
Ward currently is a “Senior Project Manager” for the Human Resources Administration. Much of his job entails cultivating relationships with private firms, non-profits, and city agencies, to assist young adults with employment opportunities. He has also worked on the Workforce Investment Act and the Young Men’s Initiative.
Ward has invested his time and energy in the youth population through mentoring, volunteer work and promoting mental and financial wellness, demonstrating his willingness and efforts to fulfill the needs of his community. He believes that by providing resources and services early on, the likelihood that young adults achieve self-sufficiency, will be much greater.
Ward’s life experiences have significantly impacted his community; there is still much work to be done, however, and Ward is willing to take on that task.
The Who’s Who of Black New York City / 2012