Taking care of business as one of the executives, Pat Ramsey of Vice President Community & Economic Development at Fifth Third Bank recalls how she got to where she is today.
“Of course, it wasn’t a whole lot of money at that time, however, it was a wonderful experience,” she said.
She’s talking about her days working at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland.
“I met a lot of people in the community, in various organizations, in government and they actually connected me with a lot of folks in the community to help me network,” Ramsey said.
When she was just 19 years old, she got her first job at the urban league, a job she says that set her up for success.
“It was basically giving me the confidence to move into any other position to further my career,” she explained.
And that’s what Marsha Mockabee, CEO of The Urban League Cleveland says it’s all about.
“Addressing the needs of the systems and addressing the needs of the community at the same time,” she said.
Those needs are what the founding fathers built the non-profit on by advocating for community members migrating from the south, who had a lack of resources to get things like a home or job.
“They also helped to train and prepare people so they could be ready to go to work,” Mockabee said.
A century later, and that work has continued with programs like Kids College, a reading program for children and S.O.A.R. for young professionals.
“First of all, it’s empowerment, the urban league is an organization that helps empower people to be stronger within their community, within their jobs,” said Ramsey.
Amid financial challenges and funding changes, Mockabee said she hopes to continue that empowerment for years to come.
“That’s really been sort of the cornerstone of all the work that we do in our community for the first 100 years and certainly going into the next 100,” she said.
The urban league's special benefit concert is Thursday night.
R & B legend Jeffery Osborne will be performing at the Rocksino. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.