Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to Bay Area native, Year Up Alumni, IT professional, youth mentor, Jay Hammonds.
Jay was born and raised in California’s Bay Area. Jay’s father was absent, and mother suffered from a drug addiction. Fortunately for Mr. Hammonds, he was adopted by a friend of his family. Jay focused on his studies and graduated from high school. He started at Oakwood University. During his first year like many young people today, he could no longer afford his college cost and was forced to drop out. Luckily a caring college counselor informed him about a program called Year Up, an IT and workforce development program for young adults. Jay completed the program in a year’s time, and his internship at Facebook turned into a full-time career opportunity. He started working Facebook as IT operations tech in 2011. He currently serves as their VIP operations technician; where he provides technical management support for executives at Facebook, like CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Mr. Hammonds’ inspirational personal story has been featured in 60 Minutes, and the Huffington Post. He has joined the likes of Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, and entrepreneur, Everette Taylor making Forbes prestigious, 30 Under 30, list this year. Jay Hammonds pays it forward by acting as a liaison between Year Up and Facebook and has worked to bring 150 interns from Year Up into the company. He personally mentors many of the Year Up interns himself over the years. He also serves as a board member for the organization Hack the Hood, which is an award-winning non-profit that introduces low-income youth of color to careers in tech by hiring and training them to build websites for small businesses in their own communities. Jay Hammonds is all about closing the opportunity divide. Here is Mr. Hammonds in his own words:
“One of the things that I often think about while I’m at Facebook is the ripple effect that Year Up creates. Because I did well at my internship and got a job here, it was a splash in the water. There are many more interns here now and everyone around the office is so excited about Year Up. I’m a small part of that movement and I’m so thankful that I had this opportunity and ran with it.”
We wish Mr. Hammonds continued success, and hopefully, his story can inspire many more talented young people in the Bay Area, to strive for their dreams no matter what obstacles they may face. With a lot of determination, plus a secure, and stable support network, any young person can be successful. Today we honor Jay Hammonds as our Evolved Man of the Week.