Cara helps men and women affected by poverty (and often the interrelated challenges of recovery, domestic violence, episodic homelessness and incarceration) to get and keep good jobs, and more importantly rebuild hope, self-esteem and opportunity for themselves and their families in the process.
As Cara’s Director of Student and Alumni Affairs and a 17 year Cara veteran, Jesse is a firm believer in the notion that we transform our lives by transforming others. He lives this principle out every day as he oversees the learning experience for all Cara candidates in their journey to employment and in their engagement as alumni as their jobs evolve into careers. Jesse is uniquely qualified for this position, being a graduate of Cara himself, and having worked both as a trainer and as a Director in Cara’s flagship social enterprise, Cleanslate. Cara sees over 1,500 candidates per year, and Jesse’s coaching handprint is on nearly every one.
Jesse is frequently called upon by The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and others to share his perspective on the power of transformation, on the role of mental health in our work, and on the trappings of incarceration that extend far beyond any jail cell. He was featured in The Reader as a Chicagoan to know and was chosen as the 2011 National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) Unsung Hero. And his civic engagement includes service as the Past President of the Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce. Recently serviced as an Advisory Board Member for the Business Administration Program at MacCormac College from 2019 - 2020.
46 years as a member of Omega PSI PHI Fraternity. His past professional experience includes 18 years in the private sector at Nabisco.