Patricia Clement

by Terry Watson | September 13th, 2018
Patricia Clement (Photos by Marion Woodhouse)

Patricia Clement (Photos by Marion Woodhouse)

Remember bouncing to the rhythm of the Double-dutch rope until you knew the exact time to jump inside the rope? Do you remember jumping to the Double-dutch song 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 1 up, 23456789, 2 up 23456789, 3 up 23456789, 4 up 23456789, until you couldn’t jump anymore or the people who were turning arms got tired? How about even learning to jump double orange? Now if you could jump double orange then you were really doing something! Meet, Patricia Clement, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of JumpStarz, LLC also known as JumpStarz Jump Rope Lessons, whose mission is to use the fun and exciting sport of Double-dutch to build confidence, improve cardiovascular health and nutrition, while empowering youth to set and reach goals.

As a child Patricia jumped double-dutch on the concrete streets of Brooklyn for fun. In 1997 Patricia moved from Brooklyn, East New York to Petersburg, Virginia. She instantly became aware that her love of double-dutch was not common in her new state of residency because she didn’t see little girls jumping rope in the streets like she did while growing up. That seemed so odd and it bothered her. “I mean double-dutch was everything when I was growing up, playing outside.” Though jumping rope kept Patricia busy it didn’t exactly shield her from the elements that come with growing up in a fast paced, high crime, and low income neighborhood. In fact, she was introduced to things that lead her to become a juvenile delinquent. Though the kid in her loved double-dutch her new fast-paced life style was anything but a game.

She recalls, “At the age of 12 I took my first drink in the neighborhood with the older kids. By the time I was 14 I was dating drug dealers, carrying guns, and packaging and transporting those drugs for them. Things just kept getting worst for me. When I turned 15 I was expelled from high school and when I was 16 I went to Job Corp in Maryland.” Patricia enjoyed working with her hands and took up carpentry as a trade while in Job Corp. Coincidently, she was the first woman to complete the program. In hindsight this was a sign that she was going to be the first to accomplish many things in her genealogy. She recalls, “At Job Corp, I worked on learning my trade for one week then I attended school the next week which I hated. I disliked school so much that when it was time to go I would pretend to be sick and I would make all kinds of excuses just so I wouldn’t have to go.” Eventually, Patricia left Job Corp, but was unable to get a job because she didn’t have a high school diploma so she went back to doing what she knew how to do – – hustling in the streets. After giving birth to her son, Malique, reality finally hit her that if she continued hustling she would end up in jail or even worse, losing her life. “I knew I would have to make a lifestyle change especially since I wanted my son to have a better life so I went back to school and obtained my GED at the age of 20. With that I was able to get a job as a security guard at the airport. I worked there for a few years then some of my coworkers began talking about jobs opening in Virginia at detention centers. I dreamed of leaving New York and starting a new life somewhere else. My family and friends thought I was crazy because they couldn’t believe that I was going to relocate to a place where I didn’t have any family, but I just knew that I needed a change. So, I moved to Petersburg, VA. It wasn’t easy either. Though I was able to get a job with Sussex 1 State Prison I had to live in low income housing for about a year. While working at Sussex for about eight months, I discovered I was really good at shooting firearms. In 1998 I became employed at Riverside Regional Jail assigned to the transportation unit, where I transported inmates to court and appointments. I liked being out in the public, so I decided to become a Police Officer. When my family and friends back home heard that I was in training nobody could believe it especially after knowing about my former way of life. You know I’ve always heard that saying, “God protects babies and fools,” well I was both. So, I completed the police academy, spent a few years as a beat officer, then became the community policing officer. I worked well with the community, because I was a product of the same type of community I was serving. The streets were all I knew. When I came across troubled young girls, I wanted to save them so they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I did growing up. So I became a Big Sister for the Big Brother Big Sister program in Richmond, VA. After 20 years of Law Enforcement, I decided to take an early retirement and JUMPED into full-time entrepreneurship. I obtained my business license in 2012, but I couldn’t fully commit to JumpStarz because I worked full-time as a Police Officer.”

Patricia is a believer that God will supply all of your needs because He sent her help with JumpStarz when she needed it the most. According to Patricia, “If it wasn’t for Ahtavia Greer, I may not be where I am today. When I started JumpStarz, I only had one person helping me so it was very hard. You know sometimes I had to teach classes by myself because other people would ignore my phone calls or just not show up. Even though I couldn’t afford to pay Ahtavia, in the beginning, her love for the sport and her belief in me is what I’ll never forget. When I first envisioned JumpStarz I knew it would grow because it was something we needed in our communities. It’s fun and it helps to build confidence for both children and adults. It also draws positive attention to children and it allows them to learn something new. JumpStarz is special to me because I’ve taken something that I have enjoyed all my life and turned it into a positive business. When you’re doing something you love, it doesn’t feel like work.”

Patricia is happy that she has created a legacy for both her son, who is in the Air Force, and her 10-year old daughter, who is currently in training to learn the business. She is overjoyed that she has given them a ‘JumpStarz’ in life. Not only does she employ her children she also feels good about the fact that can give back to her Virginia community by employing its’ residents. Currently she has 20 staff members and is looking to hire more. Patricia encourages everyone she meets to pursue their passion especially because it has worked out for her. “It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be doing hair or baking cookies. It could be making lotion. I just want kids and adults to know that you can do anything you want to do, and you don’t always have to work for someone else. You know I went from one class a week at Petersburg YMCA to past/current to having multiple contracts with the County of Henrico, City of Richmond, County of Chesterfield, Richmond Public Schools, Fort Lee Military Base, Richmond Preparatory, St. Michaels Episcopal School, 21st Century Learning, Poplar Springs Hospital, Next Up RVA and many other viable organizations. If all of this happened for me because I followed my passion then I believe it can happen for others, too.” JumpStarz, provides demonstrations and lessons for afterschool programs, birthday parties, community events, family reunions, summer camps, corporate team building and youth programs. JumpStarz has been featured in various news media articles and is highly reputable in Central Virginia.

Who would have ever guessed that this girl from the hood, whose biggest life goal at one time was to get a Section 8 housing voucher, who started out as a statistic would defy the odds of societal success by getting married to the love of her life, building their dream home, and launching a successful business. Who would have ever guessed that her love of jumping double-dutch would impact so many others lives in such a positive way. Who could have ever imagined that her love of a game would inspire and promote self-love and inspiration in so many children and enhance teambuilding skills within organizations. Patricia believes that, “People should do what makes them happy. I believe if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way, not and excuse.” Patricia believes everyone should have multiple streams of income. Aside from JumpStarz, Patricia is also a reseller, she buys truckloads of furniture and resells the items to her 2400 member Facebook group. She sells on EBay and has extreme couponing experience. She has received so many inquires about her ‘Hustling’ that she was inspired to launch a program called ‘Help Me Hustle” where she will be teaching everyday people on the art of earning extra income by doing things they love to do.

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