Local mentorship program helps Cleveland's youth find direction and networking opportunities

CLEVELAND - We never know how even the most simple encounters with people around us can have a big impact on the decisions we make, places we go, and the path the rest of our lives take.

That's why Mike Carswell from Scranton Road Promotional Marketing is doing what he can to pull together local professionals and young adults in their community.

"One thing I've always been interested in is exposure," said Mike. "If you've never met anybody who's a C.P.A. (Certified Public Accountant) if you've never met anybody who's a financial planner, if you've never met anybody who has their own marketing company, how would you know that is something you're interested in to pursue?"

Visibility Marketing's founder Montrie Rucker Adams knows what it's like to come from Northeast Ohio and make it in the professional world. That's why 18-year-old Amire Harris was hanging on her words during Scranton Road Ministries' "LAB" program, standing for "Learning About Business."

"My mindset before was pretty much everything could be handed to me," said Harris. "I didn't really have to do much work."

Amire says he knows better now, after meeting local professionals he usually wouldn't get to talk to. Financial Planners, accountants and small business owners talked to the small group about how they got to where they are.

Amire says just a few months ago, he barely missed witnessing a shootout at a Sunoco station in the Waterloo area.

"I was coming out of the gas station, just got in the car, we pulled off, and you hear gunshot after gunshot after gunshot," said Harris.

A 7-year-old girl was grazed by a bullet and five men were arrested and charged. One of the men was 18, just like Amire.

"Knowing that they're my age range and they're doing this, it's putting a bad brand on me," said Harris.

With what he learns in the lab, Amire is fighting back.

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