"Even before I was born, Life had a death sentence against me."
Entrepreneur | Speaker | Counselor
Jonathan Berenguer was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. Even before he was born, life already had a death sentence against him. He was born premature and weighed 2 pounds and 11 ounces. He was so sick, he was immediately incubated and never got to feel his mother's embrace. Tragedy struck when just a month after he was born his mother passed away. Unfortunately, tragedy did not end there. His father was murdered when he was six years old. He was raised by his maternal grandparents, but at ten his grandfather passed away and he became the man of the house.
Elementary school consisted of being bullied and poor grades with constant calls home. Middle school consisted of multiple fights, suspensions, cutting class, and hanging with the wrong crowd. Despite this, he was always shy till an opportunity arose in eighth grade when he rose up to the plate to help his fellow classmates with a new math topic. It was in that moment that Jonathan knew he wanted to help others.
Throughout high school, Jonathan made it clear that he had goals to educate young minds. He kept busy as part of the Army JROTC program and volunteering as a participant and assistant for a community program called R.E.A.C.H. By senior year, he had climbed the leadership ladder in the Army JROTC program to earn the rank of Captain and Company Commander. He excelled in math and science and graduated with honors in both.
Jonathan entered college with a full scholarship for teaching. He immediately began interning as an in class tutor in a Bronx high school. During his sophomore year in college he founded his first company, By Your Side Tutoring. During his time in college he was a club president and gained an advance certificate in Social Change Leadership and Entrepreneurship. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science with a focus in Education. In 2018, Jonathan graduated with a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership and a certificate in Social Justice Advocacy. He was also selected as the Student Speaker for his college commencement ceremony.
Today, with 12+ years of experience educating and inspiring young minds, Jonathan has grown By Your Side Tutoring into a company that has served and inspired thousands of students in the Bronx. He has trained and hired over 100 high school seniors and college students. By Your Side Tutoring has given back to the community by presenting educational workshops in shelters and hospitals and has donated backpacks, t-shirts, school supplies, books, tablets, and more to community programs. In addition to his position as Executive Director of By Your Side Tutoring, he is an experienced motivational speaker having spoken to secondary and post-secondary student groups in NYC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, and Massachusetts. He has also traveled to Uganda, Africa and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to provide food, clothes, toys, and hope to children. In 2017 he founded 1JB Inspires to continue the work of inspiring hearts and minds toward positive social change. As a vendor for the Department of Education and NYC, his goal is to reach every Bronx high school with a message of hope and transformation. He also worked for many years as a co-director for a middle school mentoring program for the R.E.A.C.H. Program. After years of working with grades k-12, he was presented with a new adventure teaching and mentoring college students in Social Change Leadership. Most recently, after 8 years of working as a counselor in a Bronx high school preparing students for college, mentoring students, and leading a chess club; Jonathan was named Director of TRiO Educational Talent Search Programs for the Lehman College Center for School & College Collaboratives. He attributes much of his experience and success to his participation in the R.E.A.C.H. Program.
Jonathan has found his purpose and calling in life; to inspire and educate young hearts and minds toward positive social change. He named his first company “By Your Side Tutoring” to express his deep passion to bridge the gap between home and school and to show parents, students and teachers, that they are not alone.
“If you have vision and drive, together we’ll go far.” Jonathan Berenguer