Born and raised in the Morrisania neighborhood of the South Bronx, Jason Adulley grew up a confident, strong-minded boy in a family with two brothers and two bickering parents. After his parents’ separation in 2005, Jason, his older brother Kelvin, his baby brother Michael and his mother Marguerite were left alone and evicted from their apartment. While his mother worked her double overtimes and graveyard shifts, Jason, heeding the words of his mother to “make education his best friend,” studied diligently. Though moving from apartment to apartment five times in three years, Jason and his books had an unwavering relationship. He obtained the highest grades in his class all the way until eighth grade, where he graduated valedictorian, a sight his mother had worked hard for her whole life.
In the fall of 2011, Jason began attending Regis and was in a class of one hundred and thirty-five students, and including him there were only two African American students in his grade. In trying to fit in, Jason left his South Bronx nature at the steps of the Number Four Train each morning and embarked on a façade in order to be like the other students. Along with his fellow Christian youth group members, he found solace in the African American Culture Club in his school and in DAIS, Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students. These two clubs brought students of color from independent schools like Regis and influenced him to display his culture on a full level. After one year, Jason became vice-president of the African American Culture Club and a member of the executive committee of DAIS. This year, he has sat in a die-in in the busy intersection of 86th and Lexington Avenue to honor the death of Michael Brown and worn “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts in school to recognize the immoral death of Eric Garner. Jason has sought ways to not only recognize his heritage but advocate for human and civil rights.
While Jason helped aid students of color express themselves individually at school, he wanted to bring that back home to the South Bronx. Living on Sheridan Avenue, he was always aware of the hardships and crime that surrounded his life. From drugs and drug arrests to single- parenthood and child-abandonment, Jason saw all the realities of a typical struggling environment and sought to effect some change. He began volunteering with his Christian youth group, tutoring some children in nearby schools, and became a camp counselor for students of Saint Ignatius School in the impoverished Hunts Point Neighborhood. With his volunteering and in reading works of Maya Angelou and learning of Booker T. Washington, Jason hopes to improve economic life in impoverished areas through education. In college, he plans to double major in African American Studies and Political Science and minor in Sociology.
Jason has come a long way from being just another black child with a single parent; he has developed into a mature young man ready to take on and lead his world.