Jadon-Li: Facing Challenges, But Never Giving Up
Jadon-Li is most proud of “not giving up and reaching out and finally feeling comfortable to tell my story to people so that it can help.”
He faced many challenges, including homelessness and "leaving everything I knew to come to Georgia," prior to getting involved with Communities In Schools.
He said that upon moving to Georgia with his Aunt and Uncle, "I was dealing with my family struggling to even buy food, my uncle losing his job, me having to go to work and school at the same time to help out. Me being late every single day because I had to rely on him for transportation... Me never having any time alone.”
This lifestyle was an immense burden for Jadon-Li, who had big goals, but just needed some support to reach them. Jadon-Li recognized this and took accountability for his life. He reached out for help and his guidance counselor connected him with his Site Coordinator, Shay Montgomery. Jadon-Li recalls one of his accomplishments in high school as “meeting my mentor through Ms. Montgomery and finally reaching some clarity in my life and its purpose.”
“I’ve supported him by being available whenever he needs to talk and connecting him with a one-on-one mentor and an in-school mentoring group to help him reach his goals." - Shay Montgomery, CIS Site Coordinator
"He also has my personal cell number and knows he can reach out to me whenever he needs to talk. For example, we both suffered from COVID-19 during Christmas break and checked in on each other regularly via text," said Montgomery.
Jadon-Li took control of his life and accomplished a lot in his senior year. “I really took a lot of steps towards my adulthood in life. Applied for colleges, did vocal auditions. Getting back to my old self, the person I thought I had lost when I left New York. Forgave my mother and learned to learn from the pain instead of letting it define me.”
He also has a love for creating music and released an entire album all on his own!
But he says that that what he’s most proud of is for “not giving up and reaching out and finally feeling comfortable to tell my story to people so that it can help.”
“I’ve never been so at peace with the future of my life until now,” he said.