Jerry Walker '03
Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Inductee
President and CEO
Legendary Seton Hall Big East Tournament Champion 1992-1993 Jerry Walker, who earned a B.A. in communications, has spent the past 20 years as a social entrepreneur in Jersey City, his hometown. Walker is the president and CEO of Team Walker, the non-profit he founded with his brother Jasper in 1996 to provide inner-city youth with innovative after-school and summer programs that teach sports, academics and life skills. Team Walker assists more than 400 children daily, ranging in age from 8 to 18. Since its inception, the group has been a positive influence on the lives of thousands of young people and their families. The foundation is headquartered in a community center that Walker had built two years ago, which was financed by corporate and other donations. Team Walker Learning Center has a staff of 22, which is comprised largely of teachers, social workers, life-skills coaches and mental health specialists.
In 1993, Walker, who dreamed of playing for the NBA, joined the New Jersey Nets and later played professional basketball for several European teams. During the off-season, he developed the idea for Team Walker. He says the program's most important purpose is to provide constructive alternatives to negative influences in the inner-city. Walker's "three Ds" – dedication, determination and discipline – are the mantra of the program.
In 2011, New Jersey First Lady Pat Christie honored Walker by naming him a "New Jersey Hero." "Through his leadership, he is teaching these children the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, responsibility and unity," said the First Lady.