Award for Public Service
Diploma in Human Resources Management ('93)
Jeanne Burrus is a successful human capital management executive and a social entrepreneur. Early in her career, she enrolled in the Diploma in Human Resource Management, offered by the NYU School of Professional Studies. It was through this program that she discovered her passion for human resources. Jeanne spent 18 years working on Wall Street in human resource strategy for firms including Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.
While acting as a full-time caregiver to her ailing parents, Jeanne created a model for a community-based employment assistance program that is truly visionary. Several years ago, Jeanne learned about Dorothea and Jon Bon Jovi's ingenious concept of a community restaurant—Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen—that serves Red Bank, NJ and the surrounding communities. The premise of the restaurant and how it works to help others is simple. If you can afford to pay for your meal, then you can make a donation to help others who are less fortunate. If you are unable to pay for your meal, then you can volunteer at the restaurant in exchange for a meal for you and your family.
From experience, Jeanne knew where there is food insecurity there is unemployment. Given Jeanne's extensive HR background, she began giving her time and expertise to coaching unemployed Soul Kitchen volunteers by offering assistance with their résumés, interviewing skills, and job searches. She quickly realized that many of the people she assisted had myriad challenges that required professional help in addressing. Jeanne recruited 12 such professionals (The Employment & Empowerment Team), who added to the expansion of services.
This comprehensive assistance program that she launched offers job coaching, life coaching, financial literacy, and legal support services as a way to address the challenges facing those who seek help with employment. To date, The Employment & Empowerment Program has been instrumental in helping Soul Kitchen volunteers to secure 60 job offers—an impressive 85% success rate.
Through Jeanne's knowledge, skills, and innovative approach, she has masterfully created a program born from a sincere desire to give back to the community. For more information, please visit jbjsoulkitchen.org.
Jeanne earned a Diploma in Human Resources from the School of Professional Studies in 1993.