Organized by: Jamal Stevens
On, February 25, 2016 I decided to take a leap of faith and leave the world of corporate America to pursue my entrepreneurial passion. While exciting and scary at the same time, I have always known it was in my heart to become an entrepreneur. This is probably one of the biggest challenges and risks I’ve taken in my life, and I’m looking forward to wholeheartedly pursuing my passion and bringing my vision to fruition. I want to take some time to convey to my closest friends/family what my vision and journey means to me, and why I would love any support you can provide to help me in building my business. There are so many reasons why building this agency is important to me, but let me first give you some insight on who Jamal Stevens is and how I got to this point. I'm originally from the home of the Ravens, best crabs in the USA and headquarters of one the biggest sports apparel brands, Under Armour....that’s right Baltimore, Maryland. While most of my drive and determination came from my upbringing, my parents along with God instilled the platforms that molded me into the man I am today. I graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor in Sports Management, and decided to further my knowledge in this field by receiving my Masters from Georgetown University. While attending Georgetown, I came across one of my biggest challenges in my life- receiving a DUI that could have ruined me. I used my conviction as motivation to push me to work harder and prove to the judge, and myself, that it wouldn’t hold me back in life. After college I was faced with a tough decision that most post graduate students often experience. I had to decide whether to pursue a career in the field I received my degree in, or venture off into a different route. Although this may seem like a no brainer, I experienced much adversity due to my lack of professional experience in the field, and the high demand for candidates with many years of experience. Fortunately, I got the attention of a VP of Sales in California that was impressed with my Linkedin profile. After an extensive interview process, they decided to fly me out to Los Angeles to experience a day in the life, and see if it would be a good fit for me. A month later, I received a call from the Vice President on my graduation day, extending an offer to take on the role of Business Developer. Needless to say, I took the position which landed me in the city I have grown to love and now call home. My passion for helping others along with my interest and experience in sales, ignited my career in the insurance industry. This is my opportunity to be an advisor, create an amazing work/life environment for my employees, and build an agency that my mom and family can be proud of. After reviewing State Farm, their mission statement, goals, and impact on the community, it is apparent that they closely align with everything I want for my career. My inspiration came from my mom who was in the insurance industry for over 25 years and ran her own business- SIS Insurance Agency. I worked for SIS part-time for 4 years, where I helped her grow and develop relationships with new customers. My mom built relationships with all of her clients, led community sponsorship events, and had flexible work hours. This allowed for her to still spend time with me, and ultimately became the one I aspire to model after. She, along with the beautiful family God blessed me with in California, was everything I needed to spark my entrepreneur spirit and take this route. State Farm is offering me an opportunity to create my own agency with the State Farm brand. I plan on being a leader in the Los Angeles community while being a one-stop shop for my customers. I’m required to bring $50,000 to the table to show that I will invest in my business. I currently have about half the amount to invest in the business from years of working in corporate America. The money will be used for supplies, marketing, community involvement, training employees, operating expenses, etc. I am asking for help from friends, family, and networks of individuals who want to help me build my dream. Once I reach my goal, I will begin my journey with State Farm to help my community protect their assets, recover from the unexpected and realize their financial future. I appreciate you taking time out to read my story and donating towards the goal! Thank you! God Bless.