Jonah Engler’s first experience with the term “giving back” occurred as a young man. He worked for his mom’s employer, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). At UFT, there were numerous opportunities to become involved with charitable projects. He took on as many as possible, and loved each and every one.
During college, he continued to acquire the skills that helped make the charitable man he is to this day. Establishing charities from the ground up is his specialty. By relying heavily on grants and a few generous initial donors, his organizations gain traction, and eventually becoming self-sufficient. Jonah has uses proven methods, along with his own “special sauce”. His common theme…results must be seen, and recorded. His areas of interest include Breast Cancer Awareness, AIDS research, Children of Promise, among others.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
Besides the obvious answer, recess (Chuckles), Although I had a knack for everything numbers, but I would say the most thought-provoking class I took was world history, in my junior year.
What was your first job?
My mother works for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) – Brooklyn Borough office. Because of her, I was able to work there as well. My work at UFT spurred my interest in charitable giving, which is the primary “work” driver in my life.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
A good coffee and great music (chuckles). But really, I believe in doing what you’re passionate about. In my world, being the best parent, I can be to my children and giving back to those in need.
What charitable ideas currently excite you most?
Any charitable ideas with demonstrable results. However, I am most attracted to children-centric causes.
Describe your most satisfying day ever
Staying at home with my kids…that is most satisfying…to me. I know, not the answer most would want to hear, but to those out there with busy lives and children, you know exactly what I am talking about.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
I have many achievements I am truly proud of, but one sticks out to me recently. I enjoy giving my time to Children of Promise, mentoring an 11-year old whose father is in jail. My work has turned around this young man’s life. I am hopeful for his future. Makes me so happy to ponder…
What wisdom would you like to share with the 20-year-old you?
What a great question. I would like to tell young Jonah to keep focused on what keeps him happy, to not dwell on the negatives of others. If you do this, and your heart is in the right place, the rest will work out…