Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Volunteer Spotlight: Jason Tennenbaum

Jason Tennenbaum was born and raised in West Los Angeles, California – and ‘West’ means he was raised close to the beach. He says he loved the outdoor lifestyle and was at the beach all the time. Overall, there were good and bad parts about living in LA, though. “It doesn’t have great city lifestyle,” he reflects. “It’s more suburban… but as a kid, you don’t know the difference.”

As he neared high school graduation, Jason knew he wanted to go to a college on the East Coast. “It was a chance to explore; to try something different,” and when he visited Boston, he fell in love. It has more colleges than any other city in the U.S. and it has the highest percentage of college-aged residents.

Jason attended Boston University and “became a more serious student as I went along.” He eventually found what he really enjoyed – business – and graduated in 1996 with a degree in business administration. He appreciated BU’s diversity of programs because it gave him a chance to truly discover his passion.

Jason’s advice for future college students: “Don’t pigeonhole yourself. Be open-minded. You never know what might interest you. Don’t be worried if you go through college and you don’t know what you want to be. It is about learning and expanding your mind. It is about the processes.”

Once out of school, Jason moved to Chicago to be closer to family. He found a job in healthcare and managed psychiatric centers for a few years. In the early 2000s, he started going to business school at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He graduated in 2002.

Shortly thereafter, he started a small real estate investment company and has been running it ever since. He is involved in all aspects of the business from start to finish. He finds a property, brings it to his investors, negotiates a contract, purchases the property, and then manages the building ongoing.

“I love what I do,” says Jason. He gets to see many areas of Chicago and how different people live. He finds it especially interesting how people who live next door to each other, who may live in identical units or pay the same rent, make different choices which affect their lives.

When Jason is not at work, he is probably attending to his second full-time job, which is raising his two kids, Noah and Sydney, who are 3 ½ years old and 8 months old respectively. He lives in the city with his wife who he met in Chicago and married in 2004.

Jason got involved with Cabrini Connections because he wants to “make sure [my son] understands the value of giving back.” He also likes our program because of its focus on education. He works with Michael Bridges on Wednesday nights. They are both in their first year at Cabrini Connections.

“It’s been great,” says Jason about the experience so far. “From where I’m sitting, it’s a home run.” Michael started high school this year and was a little overwhelmed at first, but thanks in part to Jason’s guidance, he got all As and Bs on his first report card! Jason says the key is talking to your teachers. “They only remember the kids that care… They’ll watch out for you if they know it’s important to you.”

Thank you for joining us, Jason. We wish you both continued success!

No comments:

Post a Comment