Jahmel Kendall of South Philadelphia
“Within the urban community, we are very much entrepreneurial-minded, but we lack the resources. I wanted to be a resource,”
says Jahmel Kendall of South Philadelphia. Kendall grew up in a working-class home, headed by his mother who was the sole provider for her four children. His journey to success includes his humble beginnings and bouts with fallacious guidance. “My mother worked, and a lot of my influences came from outside of the home,” recalls Kendall of his younger days. Despite it all, Jamel Kendall was able to start his collegiate career at Philadelphia Community College, later finishing at Temple University. His original plan was to become a contract lawyer in hopes to protect businesses from faulty arrangements; however, a chance opportunity to work at AMTrust changed his perspective. “I realized how wealth was created and passed down through generations.”
Kendall’s passion to help others shifted from contract lawyer to financial advisor. Post graduation, Kendall obtained several licenses including real estate and life insurance. Instead of following the corporate trends of consultant fees and minimum asset requirements, the young father of two decided to offer his services for free to underserved communities. “ I took away variables so people could learn how to be financially free,” says Kendall of his unorthodox decision.
Not only is Kendall a financial educator, he also adds community servant to his list of duties. With the help of like-minded participants, Kendall founded MOVE, a non-profit that brings educational awareness, resources, and action plans to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. MOVE also performs community outreach through its subsidiary, Men on the Move, which routinely mediates street conflicts in efforts to curb senseless violence. Through his educational and professional training, Kendall is able to offer his expertise to the misguided youth he encounters. “I’ll ask, ‘What would it take for you to stop selling drugs?’ I know [what they’re doing],” declares Kendall, who is as bold as he is forthcoming. After a brief conversation, Kendall and crew begin to work with the youth to help find them employment.
Jahmel Kendall regularly hosts financial literacy seminars which include topics like home ownership, life insurance, stocks, credit, and more. When asked about his passion for teaching financial literacy, Kendall replies, “Education is and forever will be the equalizer of the world.”