"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglas
South Florida native son, Jonathan Spikes is a mental health counselor, multi-talented writer, Cancer survivor, and Executive Director of the Affirming YOUth Foundation, Inc. Reared in Miami, Florida for most of his life, Jonathan has had the opportunity to experience many things both positive and challenging, which has helped him to define his own way and chart his own course.
A graduate of Broward College and Nova Southeastern University, Jonathan’s experience and accomplishments speak volumes. Early in his professional career Jonathan mentored and counseled at-risk students as a way to give back to his community. This ignited his lifelong dream of helping youth realize that in spite of any situation, “You can do and be anything that you put your mind to.”
His high-strung energy and enthusiasm for working with students did not go unnoticed. He was later recruited to work with the Afro-centric Enhancement Self-esteem Opportunity Program (AESOP) which led to a more prominent position with the Miami-Dade Department of Juvenile Justice, Youth Investment Initiative Program. During this time Jonathan learned that youths formative years will impact their adult years negatively or positively depending on their exposure and mental outlets.
In 2011, his professional and personal life experiences culminated in the establishment of the Affirming YOUth Foundation, Inc. One aspect of the program included his collaboration with a team of clinical psychologists to create the Let’s Talk It Out Anti-bully/Conflict Resolution Program; taught in Miami Dade County Public Schools in 2012 through the Educational Transformation Office. During October 2014, the program was promoted by the Florida Department of Education.
In September 2018, the foundation expanded its services to include the Affirming Youth Center. In October 2019, it received federal funding to provide clinical behavioral health services to victims of gang violence.
This novelist, entrepreneur, and former corporate trainer is expanding his wings and flying to new heights. He is the father of two teenagers, Jamari and Jayna, who continually enrich his life with unbelievable joys and stress. But, he wouldn’t change anything on his incredible life’s journey.