By Mr. Jerome Jack (Gebre)
African Ancestors Knowledge are Infinite. (LemniscateU+221E ∞ INFINITY (∞)) The mind is a spectrum of the Universe, with unwavering Infinite knowledge, life opportunities become, ‘highly ‘unlimited. limz→z0f(z)=∞⇔limz→z01/f(z)=0. Infinity= 1010000 + ∞ = ∞. U+D+K+O=P
Mr. Jerome Jack grew up in Rose Place, commonly referred to as “Bottom Town”, and attended Kingston Anglican School. At a tender age, Mr. Jack matriculated from Kingstown Anglican School and attended St. Martin’s Secondary School. As a child, Mr. Jack was a voracious reader who frequented Kingstown Public Library and Robinsons bookstore, utilising all the resources available to him.
For instance, Mr. Jack was taking a commerce course in Form 3 with Mr. Theodore Thomas. The class was studying “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith. Regularly, Mr. Jack frequented the school library, researching, studying, and preparing. Distinctly, he recollects a corner in the library that stored both research and non-research material, and as a student he took full advantage of these resources.
Mr. Jack spent countless days and hours in the library investigating and cultivating, only to have the voice of Brother Phillip announce, “It’s closing time” jilt him away. All this led to his ability to write his first O’Level subject in Form 4. Two months of rigorous research, combined with his extensive knowledge of commerce prepared him to write and pass economics for the General Certificate of Examination (GCE). This would later serve as the foundation for all his future successes; as he would go on to write seven more in Form 5 (GCE) and Caribbean Examination Council General (CXC) and received a grade 1 for principles of business. After matriculating an opportunity presented itself for Mr. Jack to teach. But he declined, stating, “It was just too soon for him.”
Within two months of declining the teaching position, Mr. Jack began working for St. Vincent Co-Operative Bank, before the door for him by the Divine yet again opened. This time steering him straight to the “Big Apple”, New York City.
Mr. Jack heard America was the “land of opportunity”, and he wasted no time. He enrolled at a City University and immediately began pursuing his degree. Mr. Jack concentrated on science, mathematics, technology, and English studies. On weekends, he took classes in computer technology eager to earn income to pay his tuition. “It was a Monday,” Mr. Jack explained, “I had two early classes at the university, pre-calculus and computer science. Between classes, I enjoy playing a game of chess.
“Chess is a game of strategy,” he explained. “It is an excellent tool which reinforces critical thinking and works off of the if-then principle. So, while waiting for my chess partner to arrive, I chanced upon Jean Jacque Valentin, ‘half and half’ is what close friends call him; and we got into a heavy conversation.
“During the course of the conversation, I learned that his father was a professor; but while in France he worked as a computer engineer technician. Jean Jacque worked at his father’s business on the weekend and expressed that his father was looking to hire some additional workers to handle the day-to-day affairs. At this time, I was in my early twenties and looking for a way to acquire money to assist with my tuition so I leaped at the opportunity.”
Mr. Jack states: “This was the best move I made.” Within a year, he had learned with relative proficiency, computer repair, computer programming, coding, and inner working of computer operating systems. It was the development of a long working relationship and weekends shifted to weekdays, but he never lost sight of his goals. He continued to pursue a college degree while studying to acquire a computer technician certification.
After a few months, he took the exam and became a certified computer technician. As a certified technician, earning potential was unlimited, so school took a back seat while he focused on making money. After years working as a computer technician, it was time for him to move forward and pursue other venues, Mr. Jack explained. He was reading an article in The New York Times and saw a job offering at Chase Manhattan Bank for a check encoder. He applied for the job, got called for an interview and was hired on the spot. The chief responsibility of the job entailed decrypting serial numbers to identify counterfeit currencies. The job was rewarding, but after two years with the bank, Mr. Jack expressed that having learned all that he could, it was time to move on. His next job would land him at the doors of the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Jack secured a job on Wall Street, at the New York Stock Exchange as a statistical analyst. In this role, Mr. Jack had to utilise his extensive knowledge of statistical data analysis and mathematics to perform his task. “The job requires a meticulous approach to analyzing and solving global and domestic affairs. There are reports that need reading and analysing daily, so focus is key,” he states. This job is a numbers game, he had to produce accounting reports that explained profit margins, capital gains, capital losses, interpret and articulate financial reports and financial models. By far this job was the most gratifying; affording him the chance to use academia and financial prowess to service Fortune 500 companies. “It was rewarding and it gave me the leverage I needed to move out of the big city to pursue bigger things in the South,” explained Mr. Jack.
Within the next few years, Mr. Jack would find himself moving out of the big city to the South. “It was time for a change of scenery,” exclaimed Mr. Jack. He was tired of the hustle and bustle, and clamour linked to big city life; and was ready for the unhurried and serene, quietness of the South. It was also time for me to get back on track with my education, he states. Mr. Jack applied to The University of North Texas, Denton, University of North Texas, Dallas, and Oklahoma State University. Mr. Jack gained acceptance into all three universities, but decided to pursue his Undergraduate degree at The University of North Texas, Denton. There he continued his studies in Science and Liberal Arts where he earned two four-year degrees simultaneously, an Advanced Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and indoctrination to the prestigious National Scholars Honor Society. While in tenure, Mr. Jack completed elective courses at Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, and Richmond Community College. “It was a smart alternative to minimize tuition cost by taking elective courses at these institutions, and too, I saved a lot on gas and mileage,” he said. The University of North Texas, Dallas laid the foundation for Mr. Jack academically as well as professionally. It was at the University of North Texas in Dallas where he formally began teaching, uncovering his thirst to educate.
“One day I and a student by the name Mr. Hooks was asked to teach Professor Friesen’s statistics class. At the time, I was substituting at Lancaster High School, so naturally I was excited for the opportunity to not only practice my skills in front of a college audience but to teach a subject that I immensely enjoyed.” This further cemented his love of educating. Post matriculation, Mr. Jack taught at the University of North Texas Learning Center. After two years, Mr. Jack decided to take a different career path and joined Citigroup Mortgage working as an Advanced Loan Specialist.
The job required extensive knowledge of regulatory policies and procedures as it relates to banking. Mr. Jack was responsible for managing between ten and twenty client cases per day. “Some of the duties I performed were preparing credit documentations, mortgage loan appraisals, and document verification as prepared by loan processors for compliance with local, state, and federal agencies. I also assessed and re-examined debt to ratio conventional FHA and VA loans for over fifty clients,” Mr. Jack articulated. His division transferred its operations overseas leaving Mr. Jack without a job, but not down and out. He used this opportunity to go back to school and acquire an advanced degree in Finance and Business Management at Argosy University. In 2010, Mr. Jack would go on to earn his MBA. With an MBA under his belt more doors were opening for Mr. Jack, and he could wade aboundingly.
Dr. Dong, tenured professor at the University of North Texas at Denton played an integral role in Mr. Jack’s appreciation for technology. A former professor of New York City esteemed Columbia University, Dr. Dong was one of many individuals who took interest in his education. Specifically, Mr. Jack remembers their discussions on the subject of GIS and its relation to drones. Dr. Hunter was someone whose office he frequently visited. He would supply me with GIS computer and technology articles from magazines and discs; and introduced me to various programs on his computer pertaining to technology and its use in world application, but I never really gave any of it much thought, not until I started working for the technology mogul Amazon, Mr. Jack explained Amazon is a cutting-edge company that is leading the way in technological advancements. As an employee with the company, his background in computers enabled him to secure a job as a Problem-Solver before being recruited as a Robotics Technician in 2011. Later, he would go on to describe his experience as a Robotics Technician as one of the more taxing of his careers. It involved a rigorous examination which you had one chance to pass. Mr. Jack received a robotic technician a and e certificate accompanied by a fundamental of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) certificate and machine learning. Mr. Jack was responsible for five primary areas as a robotics technician, operation interface, mobility and locomotion, manipulators and effectors, programming and sensing installation, and repair and maintenance.
Education is a pursuit that is always ongoing; and it’s the fabric that propels one’s advancement as a human and drives their desire to be better than they were yesterday. So naturally, after a few years of working, I put the axe to the grind and I returned to academia in lieu of my Doctoral, states Mr. Jack. In 2013, Mr. Jack went for a doctorate in Clinical Social Work from Walden University. Later, he would subsequently go on to acquire several certificates in the field of mental health disorders, suicide counselling, violent behaviour and substance abuse, social work, diversity and equality, fundamentals of health and social care, understanding human behavior, burnout and depression, mental health, psychiatry, and a diploma in cultural anthropology.
Currently, Mr. Jack counsel troubled youths, a job which gives him great pleasure. It empowers him to reach our youth, especially Black and perhaps steer them toward a better pathway than the ones they are currently on. His job takes him to many places, not only through travel, but in journey and walks of life too. When someone he counselled returns a year or two after leaving and they tell him what a difference their talks made; it forges his spirit and paraphernalia purpose and direction internally.
In his den, sitting in his favourite chair, overlooking a handcrafted chess set made of white and tan ivory given to him as a gift from his travels to Kenya. I asked Mr. Jack if this were his final lap or if there were other endeavours he longed to pursue. He humbly replied, “Education is a pursuit which is always ongoing”. He stated there is always works that need to be done and issues that need addressing, a chapter in life is not over until the lights are dimmed. Mrs. Villin Jack, mother of Mr. Jerome Jack instilled spirituality and the importance of education into him. “My mother always told me that achieving an education is the key to rising out of poverty”, Mr. Jack told me. I love and thank her for the sacrifices that she made for us. May she continue to rest in light and peace.
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