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Jesse White 54 years of mentoring youth through tumbling team

In almost 80 years of life, Jesse White has accomplished more in his lifetime than most could ever imagine. From minor league baseball to Illinois Secretary of State, White has dedicated his life to the embetterment of others. Charming and eloquent of speech, Jesse White reflects in a recent interview of a life well-lived.

Jesse White 54 years of mentoring youth through Chicago tumbling team [photos courtesy of Latrea Morrow/Gregory Tejeda/Monique Garcia/Chicago Tribune]
Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State, Cubs
Jesse White 54 years of mentoring through tumbling team [photo courtesy of Monique Garcia/Chicago Tribune]
Jesse White, Jesse White Tumbling Team, Illinois Secretary of State

Jesse White has availed himself to the work of mentorship since 1956 via his name-sake tumbling team. Chicago has been home to the Jesse White Tumbling Team and have watched the young boys and girls become bright young men and women. White looks back at his time as a youth participating in gymnastics, playing minor league baseball with the Chicago Cubs, jumping out of planes and serving three tours of duty in the military as the catalyst for his passion to work with youth. Giving back, especially to underserved youth in the inner city, Jesse has impacted 14,500 youngsters through his program. Managing to keep the majority of those young people out of trouble. Currently, 71 of the 325 members of the tumbling team attend college and Jesse White awards their accomplishments with scholarships from $3000 to $8000 per student. Opening their vision and instilling in them purpose and dedication to go through life, Jesse White have uplifted so many.

Beyond their four block radius, the youth have traveled the world over. Traveling to Belize, Croatia, Tokyo, the Cayman Islands and so many other places local and abroad for performances, the Jesse White Tumbling Team have an extensive resume of accolades that give them a sense of pride. They can return to their local communities sharing their experiences and encouraging other youngsters to dream big.

Jesse White is the longest serving Secretary of State of Illinois and the first African American to hold the position. He has broken down barriers and have made accomplishments to advance African Americans in the state of Illinois. His legacy has touched thousands of lives. To think of someone who has persevered through tough times and accomplished greatness, Jesse White remains humble. A living legend worthy of praise.