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Jayden Thomas Gillespie, our Inspiration

  Jayden was a remarkable, kind, smart and vibrant young man who was an aspiring filmmaker. His interest in film and production began in elementary school with roles in community theater and oratory competitions. Filmmaking was Jayden’s passion, and he poured his heart and soul into every film he made and collaborated.

  He grew up in the San Diego area and attended R. Roger Rowe Elementary School and Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) High School where he graduated in 2017. He gave the commencement speech at both his 8th grade and high school graduations. He was very active during his high school years and had many accomplishments. As a high school senior, Jayden was chosen as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by the Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership and service to school and community. 

  While in high school, Jayden was also a member of the Film

Conservatory and served as Executive Treasurer for the Student

Body Association. He was the Arts host for his high school’s #1

ranked TV station (CCATV) and received numerous awards,

including Best Drama from CCA Film Festival for his film “Slide”, Best Screen Nominee from the All-American High School Film Festival, and Harvard WestFlix Film Festival Director’s Choice Award for “Lola & Elaine”. He was also recognized by the National Young Arts Foundation Cinema in Miami, Florida where he was selected as one of 8 national finalists for the Cinematic Art Award.

Additionally, while in high school, he participated in the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Summer High School Program held at the distinguished Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business in Chicago, Illinois.

  Jayden attended Loyola Marymount University (LMU) School of Film and Television in Los Angeles, California where he was a senior pursuing a degree in Film and Television Production. At LMU, Jayden was a member of The Learning Community (TLC), the Black Student Union, the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and worked in the Student Affairs Dean’s Office. He was a promising filmmaker, producing videos for the university, including Black Student Services, Ethnic and Intercultural Services, Intercultural Programs and Initiatives, and Jewish Student Life. In 2020, Jayden founded Uni-Colors Entertainment, a production company specializing in narrative films and music videos. His passion for storytelling was exemplified in his short films.

  Jayden was a leader and active in his community serving as Teen Vice President of Jack & Jill North County San Diego Chapter. He traveled the world with his family visiting Tanzania, China, France, Morocco and Czech Republic, as well as the Caribbean and many locations throughout the United States. He also volunteered as a mentor to young students interested in cinematography.  Jayden’s films were surrounded with messages on diversity and inclusion, which was the cornerstone for the way in which he lived his life. We invite you to browse his films, and see why he attracted and inspired such devoted friends.

JTGF Inspiration
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