MEET JAY GOLDMAN
Jay Goldman is a presidential award-winning volunteer advocate and youth speaker. For the better part of twenty years, he has created grassroots community movements, has volunteered thousands of hours for various not-for-profits, and has been a passionate, outspoken advocate for community service. His initiatives have been recognized in the New York Daily News, on radio, and with examiner.com.
But life didn't start out so easy for Jay. By age fifteen, Jay's parents went bankrupt, suffered a bitter divorced, and his childhood home foreclosed. Jay’s father moved to Asia, leaving him, his mother and sister to rely on Section-8 housing and other subsidized programs to survive.
The abandonment of Jay’s father and trauma from his childhood caused him to withdraw from school activities and education. From Grades seven through ten, Jay was almost held back due to his academic failures and was required to attend summer school over those years. On the night of his sixteenth birthday, the weight had become too great and Jay was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.
A few months later, a close friend asked Jay to participate in a local March of Dimes Walk. Jay didn’t know then, but the walk would change his life. It gave Jay a new purpose and meaning, serving his community. Jay became a student leader within his school and led many community initiatives. In eleventh grade, Jay competed in and won, first place in New York State for Public Service Broadcast Advertising at the 1998 New York State DECA Competition. An achievement that seemed impossible a few years prior.
Since then, community service has been a part of Jay's heart and soul. Jay has spoken for the The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Cross-Cultural Solutions, the Building Bridges Coalition, and Ashoka's Youth Venture. Jay has been a featured speaker at The American Motivation Awards, Phoenix House, and for numerous school and youth programs. Jay is also a founding team member of Lift Up Long Island, a grassroots organization that trains students to be social entrepreneurs.
Jay spent more than a decade combined as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician with two different emergency service departments. At the age of nineteen, he responded to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at ground zero and was stationed at the Chelsea Piers triage facility with his ambulance department.
In 2007, Jay received The Call to Service, Presidential Volunteer Service Award from The Corporation for National & Community Service on behalf of President George W. Bush. While numerous Americans have been awarded some degree of the President's Volunteer Service Award, very few been awarded its highest honor - the President's Call to Service Award, an honor usually given to Americans after a lifetime of volunteer service. Jay received it at age 25.
In December of 2007, Jay was invited to deliver a keynote speech on international volunteerism at The White House. He was asked to share his extensive volunteer experience in support of H.R. 3698 (110th): The Global Service Fellowship Program Act of 2007, an act that would direct the Secretary of State to establish and administer a Global Service Fellowship Program to fund fellowships to promote international volunteering opportunities as a means of building bridges across cultures, addressing critical human needs, and promoting mutual understanding.
In 2014, Jay and others lead a “Feed the Homeless Flash Mob,” social media campaign. The campaign resulted in over a thousand meals being provided to those in need. He was also selected from a pool of over 6,000 people to receive the 2014 MTFL Honor - Pillar of Giving Award, an honor given to one individual a year who exemplifies civic engagement and community service.
In 2015, Jay was an outspoken proponent for the Suffolk County, “Helping our Veterans (HOV)” Legislation, a bill that would provide a dedicated representative at Suffolk County DSS for all veterans applying for chronic care Medicaid. The bill was inspired by the story of Jay’s father, a United States Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Vietnam and required urgent skilled nursing care, but could be forced to wait up to a year for Medicaid approval. The bill received bipartisan support and was unanimously approved.
Recently, in February of 2017, Jay was selected to deliver a TEDx Talk. His talk titled, "Humanity at Home" focused on the story of Jay rescuing his estranged father form The Philippines upon learning he was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.
Jay is a member of the United Nations Association of Young Leaders, A Mental Health Ambassador for the Nassau County Association for Mental Health, and a Financial Education Community Outreach Program Ambassador for People's United Bank.
Jay resides in Long Island, New York, and is a proud godfather. In his spare time, Jay enjoys reading, golf and astronomy.