Name: Jim St. Germain
Profession: Author/Public Speaker
One Word That Describes You: Curious
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
One of the greatest honors bestowed upon me.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I grew up in a downtrodden neighborhood that was flooded with drugs, violence, broken schools, and a sense of hopelessness. I lost many friends to the streets, prison system, and poverty. I actually spent three years in the juvenile justice system but was able to overcome these obstacles through mentorship. I graduated college, started a nonprofit, wrote a memoir, A Stone of Hope, and I’m a presidential appointee. Most importantly I’m a father to my 4-year-old son, Caleb.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I’m currently working on turning my memoir into a film and writing my first short film. Scaling up my nonprofit is a major focus where we are preparing leaders of tomorrow and teaching a master class on publishing.
What is the best advice you ever received?
To be curious.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Start where you are with what you have. The macro can’t take place before the micro. Humility will get you further than you think. Collaborate with others. You don’t need to have all the answers.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Prior to the meeting, I do research on the company, individual, or organization I’m meeting with. I’m prepared with questions and try to ensure that it’s mutually beneficial.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
I’m boring, so my vacation is very simple. I exercise, eat, swim, sit by the water with a book and reflect on my blessings and next endeavor.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Benin. Because I’m Haitian and I’ve recently learned that my ancestors are mostly from Benin so I will be learning more about my origin.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
I go above and beyond for my community as an activist, founder of a mentoring organization for at-risk boys, and an author by highlighting the issues that plagued my youth. As a policy advocate, dismantling the inhumane criminal injustice system and school-to-prison pipeline is a top priority. As a presidential appointee, I focus on creating pathways for poor children on a national level. As an upcoming filmmaker, I try to utilize cinematic techniques to challenge the status-quo. Most importantly, my impact is being a father to my 4-year-old son, Caleb.
Anything else you’d like to say?
We are stronger together. Thanks for providing a platform and allowing me to be the change that I am seeking.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.