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Meet Abraham Jamaleddine of The Compton Initiative

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abraham Jamaleddine.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in Brooklyn, NY to immigrant parents who instilled in me the values of kindness, hard work and self-respect. Growing up, both my parents worked day and night running the family business, and my brother and I would assist them as much as our school schedule allowed. My parents rarely vacationed or took days off, but they always found time to help those around them.

My dad had a ritual of gifting groceries to families in need and preparing warm meals for the homeless during the holidays. My mom was quite like a community therapist, offering advice to anyone who was struggling and willing to be inspired. They both were well respected by locals who gave them the nicknames “Mommy” and “Poppy” for parenting the neighborhood.

As I grew older, it became evident that both my brother and I had inherited their work ethic and passion for giving. After college, I moved here to Los Angeles, CA where I worked at DreamWorks Animation for many years, volunteering my spare time with nonprofits, many of which I’m still involved with today.

It was almost three years ago that I was introduced to Jeudy Mom, the Director of The Compton Initiative (TCI), a nonprofit executing quarterly beautification projects in Compton. I began volunteering with the organization a few hours a week, but my involvement quickly grew. From re-imagining TCI’s logo and website, to building up the organization’s social media presence, I became completely immersed. Observing the impact that our organization has made on the lives of those less fortunate in Compton continues to motivate me today.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Life will always have challenges, but it will also have an equal amount of opportunities. Sure, I have good days and bad days but generally speaking, I’ve never encountered a challenge I wasn’t capable of facing with the help of my friends, family and God.

As for our challenges as an organization, we continue to explore creative ways to increase local involvement in our events, with a goal of growing participation from two thousand to ten thousand volunteers per beautification event in three years.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Compton Initiative – what should we know?
TCI is a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 with a commitment to restoring the City of Compton by painting homes, schools and churches on quarterly workdays in partnership with individual volunteers and other organizations.

Starting with a small group of volunteers eager to show love and inspire hope, we’ve grown to thousands of caring workers of all ages and backgrounds who serve across the city.

Our biggest accomplishment to date has been our impact on the city. Thanks to the tireless effort of our volunteers, we’ve beautified over 573 homes, 372 buildings at 30 schools, 35 church buildings, 31 public spaces, 2 medical clinics and 134 murals.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I’m a passionate person who cares a lot about helping others. Making an impact in the nonprofit world is difficult. You have to be extremely dedicated and focused. There will be many times when your efforts will not produce the result you’re looking for and that’s when you have to push the hardest. The world only improves when we refuse to accept mediocrity and demand a better life for ourselves and the people around us.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Shahan Jafri – motorcycle photo
Louis Kravitz

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