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 take part in leadership development, self-reflection, introduction to community leaders, exposure to civic issues, and a visit to some of Cleveland’s 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.

Two sessions took place in 2018:

  • Cohort A: June 11 – 15
  • Cohort B: July 30 – August 3
  • Become a Mentor

    Mentors should be able to meet the following criteria:

    • Effective communication skills and adaptability to a variety of situations and individuals
    • A genuine interest in helping Cleveland teens reach their highest potential
    • Submit to a criminal background check
    • Attending lunch with students for one week as well as a Friday evening event
    • Commitment to have a minimum of one touch point (email, text, phone call) per month with their mentee throughout the year
    • Commitment to attend a half day training prior to the program week to skill build and set expectations
    • Plan to meet with their mentee on at least two occasions over the course of the following year at a designated event

    Become a mentor today! >

  • Community partners
  • Founders
    • 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
    • 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