Jase Elam: Changing the game by helping youth find their power

GameChangers 2022: Honoring people who are making a difference in communities of color
 Jase Elam
Jase Elam Photo credit Courtesy of Jase Elam

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Jase Elam has a long history of peer support. They currently work as the youth healing team lead for Hopeworks in Camden, which provides a positive healing atmosphere to help young people build strong futures and break the cycle of violence and poverty.

They have been at it for about seven years, starting in their teens.

“I worked with Prysm Youth Center, which is an LGBT organization. I was a member of the youth group as a teen and I decided that I wanted to really give back because that was kind of the beginning of me coming out of my shell.”

At Hopeworks, Elam leads a team of interns in “providing trauma-informed presentations to different organizations and businesses.” Elam’s biggest goal is to open a peer respite center in Philadelphia.

“Peer respite is an alternative to inpatient mental health treatment, so it’s something where people could kind of come in when they feel like they’re in a crisis.”

Elam finds the whole experience extremely rewarding.

“Watching people grow and blossom just from the support of being there and of caring — that’s been an incredible thing for me. And that’s something that I always hold with me.”

During Black History Month, KYW Newsradio’s GameChangers honors 10 individuals or organizations that have made a significant, positive impact in communities of color in the greater Philadelphia region. KYW community affairs reporter Racquel Williams will host an evening honoring this year’s awardees on Feb. 24. View a full list of 2022 honorees below.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jase Elam