Fed up with city crime, Killeen business owners are teaming up to create a mentorship program for city youth.
The program is called Youthpreneurs and kicked off 2 weeks ago. Many community leaders have already donated their time and money to support the cause. They say this program is the key to unlocking a safer and more positive Killeen. Business owners used their own money to purchase yard tools for city youth so that they have a way to make legal money and stay off of the streets.
"If we got everybody in the community playing a vital role to empower, equip, energize and educate these young men and women I could assure you a lot of crime and issues that we're seeing will be eliminated quickly. We would have a very very stable community" says Youthpreneurs Founder Will Wright.
Local doctors, lawyers, barbers and real estate agents have joined the program as mentors and have conversations with the kids every week. They say it's important to show the kids that they have other options available to them and don't have to turn to criminal activity.
"If i were a gang member and I recruited some of these children that would be a huge negative impact on the community, but as a positive business owner and a role model that's going to get the children in a different direction" says Program mentor Andre Owens.
During the classroom session of the program mentees learn important life skills like how to build credit, apply for jobs and money management.
"Credit can give you a lot of opportunities in life because it helps you get a job and it helps you get a car" says Mentee Antonio Rivera-Wright.
But the group also steps out of the classroom to teach the kids about fitness and eating clean.
"I actually see a lot of the youth that's out on the streets at night, so this gives them a better opportunity to come in during the day and engage in some activity and give them some hope" says Killeen Anytime Fitness Owner Lawrence Waller.
Mentees say they too want to be part of a safer Killeen, and that includes paying it forward.
"When the next generations kids come on you can show them what to do and they can show other kids" says Mentee Jonathan Daley.
The program founder says if everyone does their part there is no way the city can fail. If you are interested in learning more about this group message Will Wright on his facebook page below.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Wright-Class-Financial-Professionals-852155358192775/?fref=nf