Aaron McCloud Receives Award in Pistons Writing Contest

by | Feb 3, 2021 | Scholar Success

Alumnus Jay

“What Boys Hope Girls Hope
did for me was to offer me opportunities,” he says.
“Boys Hope Girls Hope offers extraordinary young people, in extraordinary life circumstances, extraordinary opportunities.”

Jay joined Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio at the age of twelve. Enrolled at St. Ignatius High, he became the school’s first African-American member of the debate team and went to the state championships as a first-year debater. During his second year, he was one of the top 20 debaters in the state of Ohio.

Jay graduated with honors from St. Ignatius, winning the school’s prestigious Bellringer Award and going on to Villanova University, where he earned recognition as one of the 12 most promising minority male college students in America. During his collegiate career he also worked for both the National Hispanic Institute and the World Bank; won fellowships to study at Georgetown, Cambridge, and Harvard; and co-founded The Paragon, an on-campus organization at Villanova dedicated to developing and teaching leadership in the African-American community.

“I am so indebted to Boys Hope Girls Hope,” Jay says.
“I am most thankful to be blessed with an education, and life experience,
which empowers me to be committed to something larger than myself.”

After graduating from Villanova, Jay worked at Goldman Sachs for two years before launching a start-up to help small businesses raise capital from investors within their communities. He then joined the U.S. Treasury Department, where he served as the Senior Advisor for Domestic Finance. In 2015, he was recognized for his work by Forbes Magazine and named 30 Under 30: Law and Policy.

Later, in 2016, Jay was awarded a Rising Star by FCW Magazine as the Director of Agency Partnerships for 18F, an office within the General Services Administration that collaborates with other agencies to fix technical problems, build products, and improve how government serves the public through technology.

Currently, Jay is a Technology Transformation Service Strategic Advisor for the General Services Administration, an independent agency of the United States government established to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies.  He is also taking Master degree classes at Harvard Kennedy School through the mid-career Master in Public Administration program.

In addition, as a former scholar, Jay remains very involved with the program as a contributor and role model.  He has hosted scholars in Washington, D.C. for internships, spoke at fundraising events, and offered much-needed advice to leadership on organizational strategy. He has also served at other youth non-profits in DC and NYC, including local schools, Reading All-Stars, and the Jersey City Police Athletic League.