“I Am NYTS” Student Stories – Jonnel Green, MDiv Alum
Jonnel Green, MDiv Graduate 2015
Jonnel Green (MDiv 2015) was the recipient of the Bible Award for Second Testament at the NYTS 2015 Commencement. Using his own life as a testimony, Jonnel inspires others through preaching and his spiritual walk to “Never let the limited language of broken individuals become a blueprint for your possibility.”
Jonnel has been called to be for young people what he so desperately needed as a youth: a mentor, an advocate and a leader who could inspire young people to hope and to dream. A former high school drop-out, this licensed minister has launched a nonprofit organization that partners with the Public School System to undergird young people.
The Executive Director of Young Harlem, Inc., a multi-faceted dropout prevention program that transforms students into scholastic and behavioral achievers, Jonnel is partnering with the New York City Department of Education and the New York Department of Probations to instill hope, confidence and strength in the emerging generation.
Raised in Harlem by his grandparents who brought him up in the church, Jonnel’s life began to spiral out of control as a teen. He not only dropped out of school, but he also began living a lifestyle that did not reflect who Christ called him to be. Jonnel credits God’s love for him as the primary motivation to turn his life around and to help others to turn their lives around. He maintains that young people are not “at-risk”, but rather “at-hope: the point where success is possible.”
Young Harlem, Inc., seeks to organize and motivate youth to pursue a three dimensional life: living the height, the length and the width God designed for them. “It’s important for me to preach and teach that there is Hope and God is in charge of it all,” Jonnel says.
Incorporating what he learned while pursuing the Master in Divinity at NYTS, Jonnel says “transformative ministry is what happened to me and what I aim to bring into the lives of today’s youth.”