Business owners build up youth in black community Business owners build up youth in black community

The South Bend chapter of the Indiana Black Expo held panel discussions throughout MLK day day to create solutions to problems black youth may face in their futures.

This was a chance for the youth to meet and question people who have made it in South Bend and get some tips for their own futures.

In the black community, kids don’t always see positive role models growing up.

“Not really.” St. Joe High School Senior Divine Chism said.

“A lot of times the examples that are set forth for them in a TV shows, in a media, online, things like that, these examples are really taken away from their character, providing options that aren’t as healthy.” Business Owner Kintae Lark said.

That’s why several successful local business owners came together to show just how they can get past common issues in the community.

“One of the great challenges for families is the lack of capital, lack of money,” Summers Group President James Summers said.

Not just for those who may be affected, but for the youth who may feel it later in life.

“We saw some young people in there,” Summers said. “It was really very pleasing to see that.”

“It was good to see people like me passionate about what they’re doing and like going to work every day,” Chism said. “That was cool to see.”

The discussion didn’t stop at the panel. One business, Inspiration Salon, didn’t just leave the youth with an idea, but showed them just what they could be doing.

“Our goal is to just say, hey he had a dream and it’s time to live that dream out,” Lark said.

“Any time you have somebody who’s actually physically out there doing things and then people can actually interact with them, it changes everything,” Summers said.

Even though it just might look like a simple hair cut or spa day for some, to others it has a whole new meaning.

“We can write our own story,” Lark said.

“As soon as people start thinking it’s like ‘Wait a second, I can do this. This isn’t beyond me.’ Then all of a sudden you start to inspire hope,” Summers said.

“We’re the future!” Chism said. “So we have to make sure that we’re headed in the right direction, so that way we’re not falling all together.”

Leaders don’t want everything to just stop as soon as they leave the Century Center.

They want to make sure the youth keeps in touch with positive role models in the community so they can build better futures, not just for them, but generations that come even later too.

Comments are closed.