Ramsey Jay, Jr.
Ramsey Jay, Jr. (Photo by Monique Washington)

By Monique Washington
Sentinel Contributing Writer

We live in a fast paced society! Most people want everything quickly and easily; from weight loss to fast food to overnight success. It’s the ‘Microwave Age’. However about 3% of society has a different mindset. These people look in a different mirror every morning to see a reflection of the impossible realizing hard work and time is what sustains a person… not petty sentiments of wanting it all now. Now results in “never” in the microwave age: here today and gone tomorrow.

Dreams are a big part of our tomorrow. They help start the foundation of our Reality. But are people really dreaming these days with so much filling our minds and imagination? I had the pleasure of interviewing a man who looks in a mirror each day, and his reflection is transparent. He’s amongst the 3% elite with a mindset of integrity.

Ramsey Jay, Jr. believes dreams are what bring us closer to our reality. His personal mission is to “discover dreamers, and empower those dreamers to become achievers.”

Jay is a man of valor with humility that would calm a storm. A Ventura, California, native, he’s Ivy League-educated and Wall Street-trained. This International Renaissance Man helps people dream and believe that anything can be achieved with a vision and a plan. Describing the man and the visionary; he said, “I am humbled by and committed to maximize the opportunities I’ve been granted in my life”. And when I asked who Ramsey Jay Jr. the visionary is, he replied, “I consider myself a ‘Human Bridge’ that connects disparate parts / populations and unites those despaired parts to come together and achieve something extraordinary together.”

Jay has the ability to connect communities resulting in transcending race, status, gender and age universally. And this ‘human bridge’ Jay Jr. illustrates connects the school teacher with the Politician, the rich with the poor and the east with the west. Giving back and bringing resources to communities is essential for Jay Jr. “I am who I am because of countless people and organizations giving back to me. The only way I can repay them is to give back what they’ve given to me.”

Recently, Jay Jr. had the opportunity to be a “human bridge” for eight young men from Compton, California. He took them from Compton to Washington D.C., sponsored by the Ray Charles Foundation. He had them look in a mirror of belief while teaching them to tie their ties. These young men had never even traveled out of their city. This was their first time wearing a suits and ties, traveling on an airplane and eating at a formal restaurant. Jay Jr. taught these young men etiquette and exposed them to a whole new world 3,000 miles away.

When Jay gives back and impacts someone’s life, it makes him feel fulfilled. “I feel like I was doing what I was born to do.” Taking high school students to the White House was an amazing experience for those young men. And it was a dream come true for Jay as well. He was in the company of the President of the United States. But sharing his dream with others was the best feeling. “I was the chaperone, sponsored by the Ray Charles Foundation.” He was in the White House and meeting President Barack Obama, “My real feeling was a sense of belonging.” It’s hard to really embrace until it happens. There’s a connection to what you could be until you encounter it. It’s a different sense of connection when you’re in the presence of it.”

In giving back to our youth Jay says, “I am establishing a foundation with the future leaders of the Country, of the World. I’m ensuring that I have the opportunity to excess tomorrow’s minds for today. They might be the next President, or the next Bill Gates.” Jay Jr. has been dreaming since childhood. His mother subscribed to Ebony Magazine. When Jay was around ten years old he looked forward to the issue with the “30 Young Leaders Under 30”. He collected those issues for years. “My vision was to be in the Ebony Magazine,” He says. His dream was a vision of him being featured as one of the Top 30 under 30 most successful in the United States.

Dreaming and having a vision and a plan makes anyone’s dreams come true. And Jay can attest to that. In February 2007, Ramsey Jay Jr. was featured in the Ebony Magazine as one of the 30 Young Leaders Under 30. Dreams do come true! It starts with a vision, looking at yourself (in the mirror) as a success before the success or goal is manifested. Don’t stop dreaming and for those who don’t dream; it’s never too late to start. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, I am important and become a part of the 3% elite.

Jay is a sought-after keynote speaker, seminar presenter and the Author of ‘Weekly Life Lessons in Leadership’. He’s an Associate Analyst at Ares Management. One thing people do not know about him: “I wear the same socks to the gym that I wear to work.” Jay Jr. is well polished and easy on the eyes, however he admits that when he’s home he pretty much will change into anything – not concerned by the shorts or t-shirt matching. “I pick up the shorts and they can be any color, and I’ll go to the gym like that.” His confidence is evident and his message is valid. When you know who you are and what you believe in; what you have on the exterior does not define you.

Jay has a vision for the next ten years: “I don’t know what it will be yet, but I will be leading something that will allow me to significantly increase the reach of my vision.”

I know Ramsey Jay Jr. will continue to inspire more people to look within themselves and dream. It all starts with the person looking in the mirror.