JessePais has been the Dean of Students at New Design High School, located in the Lower East Side of NYC, for the last thirteen years. Jesse, who was born in Brooklyn, has established his identity in NYC by mentoring members of his community. In high school, Jesse began his humble journey by working as a recreation counselor in an after school program called the Greenwich Village Youth Council (GVYC). This aided his transition into a larger role with the program where he advised the youth in drug prevention and utilized sports to keep kids out of trouble. Aside from the logistical aspects of his work, Jesse has curated a number of events that reflect his urban background such as “Rooftop Legends” -- a fundraiser that features numerous graffiti and street artists’ work on the rooftop of New Design. As a youth, Jesse was involved with graffiti which sparked his need to preserve the art form and provide a safe and legal outlet for the community to express itself. Rooftop Legends, established in 2007, started with predominantly NYC artists but has grown into an international affair that takes place annually with the help of long time friend, DJ Enuff, from Hot 97. Jesse’s strong roots in New York City culture help fuel his passion for youth development.