ABOUT THE COACH
My name is Jonathan Frejuste. I was born and raised in Newark, NJ. Growing up was a combination of good and challenging experiences. As a teenager, I participated in youth programs that gave young people like myself a safe place to find their way personally and vocationally.
After high school, I was blessed to have the opportunity to go to college from where I graduated with majors in Accounting and Finance. I started my career in corporate America. I was on my way to climbing the corporate ladder, but along the way, my plans took a major turn when I learned about the racial prejudice in the criminal justice system manifested in the mass incarceration of people of color. The state of NJ has the highest disparity in black to white incarceration rates. For every 1 white adult, there are 12 black adults incarcerated. For every 1 white minor incarcerated, there are 30 black minors incarcerated when black and white adults and minors commit crimes just about the same. These startling statistics speak to the legacy of racism that affects us all very deeply. It caused me to re-orient my life to help people affected by incarceration and do my part to heal the effects of the narrative of racial difference in our society. I witnessed first hand how the lack of education and opportunity negatively impacted my community as I saw close friends collectively be sentenced to decades in prison. In addition, after being arrested, I had to come to terms with my own ways of running from emotional pain, largely stemming from abuse at the age of 12 that took me over a decade to begin to talk about. These situations weighed heavily on my heart and inspired a desire to break negative cycles in the community by building intentional healing communities. We are hurt in community, but we are also healed in community.
My heart and desire is to help rebuild broken families, specifically ones affected by abuse, addiction, and incarceration.
I was blessed to serve as a life skills coach with a NJ group home where I learned tools that can be used to heal, rebuild, and reposition people to be everything God has called them to be. Based on my training and experiences, I put together a personal and community development guide called Bridge the Gaps – Lessons on Self-Awareness, Self-Development and Self-Care, which is geared towards providing leaders and families with tools needed to pursue their calling and heal their communities. Learn more
The guide is written to 2 sets of people:
The first set of people includes parents, pastors, social workers, therapists, teachers, life coaches, and mentors who can give the people they work with a guide and a framework to organize their lives. This requires that these leaders first live out the messages in their own lives. The famous writer James Baldwin said that children have a hard time listening to their parents, but they never fail to imitate them. In other words, you cannot give what you don't truly live and possess. In order to truly reach people, you need to live out the messages before you can impart them with a greater level of integrity and effectiveness.
The 2nd set of people is anyone raised in an imperfect family (which is all of us). Whether we've come from a broken home with abuse, addiction and/or incarceration or a home with great parents, we all have gaps in our self-awareness, self-development, and self-care. This book is geared to provide tools to find your voice, reclaim your power, and reposition yourself to live out God's calling for your life.
Pick up a copy today for yourself and anyone you know who falls in these 2 sets of people!! It’s possible to heal our communities!! It starts by acknowledging the ways we’ve been broken and neglected and then taking the steps to heal, compensate for our deficits, and Bridge the Gaps.