Brighter futures for at-risk youth

Empower Cleveland Youth supports urban youth and inspires and empowers them to become community leaders. A collaboration between civic leaders and youth-serving nonprofits, the program builds students’ capacity for success through career exploration, career readiness, leadership training and civic education.

Students are nominated to apply for the program by one of our current community partners.

The students meet once a week for eight weeks during the summer for a morning of leadership development, self-reflection, introduction to community leaders, exposure to civic issues, and a visit to some of Cleveland’s magnificent downtown jewels such as Cleveland Public Library, Public Square, and the Terminal Tower Observation Deck.

The group has lunch with career mentors who share their career journey and offer advice on choosing and remaining in (or changing) a career.

In the afternoon, each student job-shadows a mentor, a mentor’s colleague, or even several individuals to gain unique insight into the workplace and possible careers. These experiences opens their eyes to new opportunities in their own city.

Community partners


  • Jim Renacci, U.S. Representative (OH 16th District)
  • Frank Jackson, Mayor, City of Cleveland
  • Dr. Akram Boutros, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, The MetroHealth System
  • Umberto Fedeli, President and CEO, The Fedeli Group
  • Russ Mitchell, Retired Managing Editor and Lead Anchor, WKYC-TV, Cleveland; former Anchor, CBS Evening News and CBS The Early Show
  • Frederick R. Nance, Regional Managing Partner, Squire Patton Boggs LLP