Jelani’s world and reality was interrupted and shaken up at the age of 9 when he began a journey that he thought would end once he aged out of the system. Jelani viewed his time in juvenile detention centers, foster care, and group homes, as experiences that would be erased and have little to do with his life postemancipation. Years after his emancipation from the system he has learned, in many instances the ‘hard way,’ that not understanding and properly dealing with his transitions will leave him in a permanent state of FLUX.
Working on FLUX has been a life-changing experience that has helped Jelani emotionally grow and better understand himself. It has also given him another opportunity to fulfill his promise of helping the next generations of young people in foster care transition into healthy and successful lives. With FLUX, it is his hope that it gives the ‘real world’ guidance he so desperately craved as he transitioned into adulthood.
Jelani has given several motivational speeches and presentations at child welfare conferences across the country. He sits on the Board of Trustees for Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) and the Barker Foundation where he has provided consultation to Barker’s Project Wait No Longer, which finds adoptive homes for foster youth. Jelani holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and is currently finishing his last year of law school. Education has been the major driving force for his stability and success.