The importance of giving back has been saved
Life at Deloitte
The importance of giving back
Finding the parallel between principles of community building and fostering relationships
March 19, 2021
“When I was growing up in Chicago, a lot of the exposure to opportunities around me came from others giving back to their community.”
Having a positive impact on his community has always been a priority for Jonathan. After raising his hand to lead the Operation Smile charity effort his senior year in high school, Jonathan went on to Morehouse College, an institution that stresses the importance of preparing young men to change the world through ethical leadership and community service.
“I started out in high school, just trying to fill my college resume, and ended up realizing one of my passions. In college, I joined a fraternity that also focuses on developing leaders, promoting brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities. It was a natural fit for me and helped shape me for the real world.”
Jonathan started his career after college at another company but learned after a few short years that he needed to find a place that would give him the opportunity to grow and try new things. He had heard great things about Deloitte and applied for a role in Washington, DC serving Government and Public Services clients. “Before workplace culture was a thing, it was important to me. When I joined [Deloitte] in 2012, I learned the rumors were true.”
He thrived in the client service environment as he quickly saw the parallel between principles of community building and fostering relationships. “It’s not just about delivering a project and moving onto the next. To be truly successful, we should walk in the shoes of our clients, be less transactional and more like a strategic advisor to our clients. We’re on the journey together.”
In 2018 Jonathan moved with his wife to Atlanta. Deloitte assisted him through this transition not only to a new office, but also a new sector of clients. It’s been a great move for him personally and professionally. His wife has family in Atlanta, and he went to school there, so it was great settling down in the area and avoiding DC or Chicago winters!.
Once Jonathan established roots, it was time to find out how he would be able to give back to the Atlanta community. A friend from college reached out and told him about their plan to open a charter school in the area. For the next two years, Jonathan and his friend laid the groundwork and jumped multiple hurdles to open the school. “At Deloitte, you learn the importance of networking and following your passions and interests. I used those same principles to help fundraise and make some key connections in Atlanta that we needed. In a way, my career at Deloitte was shaping me for this moment.”
The Atlanta Unbound Academy (AUA) was one of only a few charter school applications that were accepted and approved to open in 2020. The school focuses on providing a rigorous, empowering, and culturally relevant education to students in Atlanta, and Jonathan is serving as their Board Chair. “Our very first day of school ever was virtual! We were so excited to open, and then COVID hit. The leadership team had to take our learning model and translate it into a virtual format.”
While it hasn’t been without its challenges, their first year has still been a success, and Jonathan and the board have been connecting with families and providing the support they need during this difficult time. AUA provides daily meals, free family mental health counseling sessions, and access to technology via laptops and internet hotspots for each student while school is virtual. The Atlanta Unbound team is looking forward to the possibility of in-person classes starting Fall 2021 and is currently planning for their next school year.
For Jonathan, despite the extraordinary first year, he is looking forward to what’s to come.
“Giving back is about finding a fit between your passions and your existing commitments to family and career. Whether large or small, it is its own gift to your community and will have a lasting impact.”
Jonathan Green is a manager in Deloitte’s Cyber practice. He serves clients in the Technology industry and helps them identify and prepare for information security risks through ongoing enhancements of their data protection and security compliance programs.