Volunteer Spotlight: Jordan Enoch And His Little PALs

April 07, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Jordan Enoch And His Little PALs

In honor of National Volunteer Month, we are highlighting some of our Big PALs of the PAL Program and the impact they have made in the lives of their Little PALs. The Big PALs provide guidance, support, and friendship, spending time with their Little PAL at least twice a month and developing a meaningful connection. Many Little PALs come from differing life circumstances and backgrounds, and benefit from an extra adult role model and friend in their lives. Our first volunteer is Jordan Enoch.

Jordan is no stranger to Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS). His mother, Ina Enoch, serves as a clinician at our Frances Bunzl Clinical Services. And when Ina told Jordan about the PAL Program at JF&CS, he knew it was something he wanted to join.

Jordan’s First Little PAL: Zev

In 2014, Jordan was matched with 12-year-old Zev. Zev’s father had passed away a year before he matched with Jordan, and he benefitted from having a male role model in his life that he could look up to during that time. Jordan said the two hit it off quickly, and recalled one of their first memories together: “One of the first things we did together was go to a comic store, because he loves comic books. I will never forget the way I saw his face light up right away.”

Zev said of their friendship: “It always made me feel like someone was there for me. Someone I can always turn to, someone who looks forward to spending time with me. I was not in a good place in my life, and ever since Jordan came into my life, I can feel myself rise up from where I was.”

As time passed and they both grew older, they began to find shared interests. They went to the movies and Braves games together, watched old TV shows that Zev hadn’t seen before, went on hikes, and even went camping together. Zev found a positive role model in Jordan, and the years they spent together began to shape Zev into a more confident, happy person.

Today, Zev is enjoying his freshman year of college at Boston University after taking a gap year to travel to Israel. Jordan and Zev still stay in touch and have spent time together since Zev graduated from the PAL program.

“It is exciting to know that with PAL, you can make a real difference in someone’s life,” Jordan said. “And you can see your impact happening right in front of you, plus hear about it from others. Zev became more confident, both socially and academically, and the time we spent together had a lasting and positive effect.”

A Return to PAL: Jordan and Lucas

Jordan found his experience with Zev so rewarding, he wanted to volunteer with PAL again. In August 2020, Jordan reached out to Sarah Bernstein, the PAL and Young Professionals Program Manager, to see about finding another match. The COVID-19 pandemic made the program a little more complicated to run, and it wasn’t as easy to find matches. But Sarah and PAL found another match for Jordan in Lucas, a seven-year-old.

Lucas is a twin and his mother is a single mother by choice. Because of this, Lucas’ mother wanted to make sure that he could have a male role model in his life to look up to and depend on. This was a big role that Jordan took on happily. Lucas’ mother arranged for his twin brother to have a Big PAL, too.

Jordan and Lucas are already building a rapport together after being matched for about a month. Jordan fondly recalled that, the other day, Lucas referred to him as “infinity years old.” Jordan loves working with children, and worked at a summer camp in Maine for four years. He said that he also loves being creative and teaching others, personality traits that serve him well when working with children.

The Impact of the PAL Program

Jordan has a background in volunteering with other organizations; he has worked with an organization called Lost and Found, where he helped homeless LGBT youth aged 18-20 work on their resumes. Jordan has a M.B.A in business, and a mind for helping others.

“I wanted to get out there and make a direct difference in somebody’s life,” Jordan said. “To me, if you are really trying to make a true impact in the community and be able to see that tangible impact every time, then this is the best community service program to be a part of. With the PAL Program specifically, you are able to do that with someone who shares the same Jewish background as you, and really help them in a way that is so significant. It really makes a huge impact.”

Zev said that, when he was at a place in his young life when he really needed someone, Jordan and the PAL Program were there for him: “PAL has been one of the best things that has ever happened to my life, and I have no idea where I would be if it didn't happen.”

Jordan said he recommends volunteering with the PAL program to anybody who is interested in having a direct effect on the lives of others: “With PAL, you are making a difference in someone’s life without even realizing it. You are giving back, but you’re also having fun.”

Interested in being a Big PAL, or know somebody who could benefit from having a Big PAL? Learn more about our PAL Program by clicking the button below.