Jaawell L. Faggins, also known as Jay, is a New Jersey native who moved to the Seattle area in late 2017. He attended Kean University in Union, NJ and achieved a double major bachelor's in history and psychology while also minoring in education. Later he attended grad school at Drew University in Madison, NJ to obtain his Master of Divinity. In his youth, he was a 4-star recruit baseball player and received several D-1 offers but never pursued because he got injured. It was at this moment when he realized the value of a black man in today’s American society. He is also a musician; he has played the piano since the age of 5 and the drums since 10. In high school and college, he participated in the marching band in the battery (drum line.)
Jaawell’s life calling has been youth work and has been doing it for 20 years Jaawell feels a deep obligation to help other young people break their curses. His style of mentoring is one of personal accountability and leading by example. "I am no better than any of these kids, they are one decision from becoming me, just like I was one decision away from becoming a statistic."
Jaawell truly feels that his legacy and his purpose is to be at M.U.S.T. doing this work and hopes to move on to being a certified life coach. Prior to working for M.U.S.T. he spent 7 years working for the YMCA in both Washington and New Jersey. While at the YMCA of Greater Seattle he did impactful youth work in Kent. He established the first summer leadership program named “Summer LIT.” He also takes pride in bringing the first middle school Black Student Union to Kent.
Beyond M.U.S.T. Jaawell hopes to become a professional screenwriter and filmmaker. In his free time, Jaawell enjoys walks in the rain, watching his Brooklyn Nets and New York Giants and playing the occasional video game. Jaawell has also studied martial arts for around 25 years and hopes to one day open a free school for BIPOC youth to help channel their trauma and gain discipline.
Jaawell’s greatest accomplishment is being a family man. He is the lucky father to two black boys named Judah and Jordan. Jaawell vows that the cycle of generational curses stops with him.