Breaking News
More () »

National Mentorship Month: 2 Cleveland moms launch groups to empower Black youth

Two local moms say their organizations are serving the community and making a difference in the lives of young people in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — January is National Mentorship Month. There are many ways to honor our youth, but two local moms are stepping up in a big way to help Black youth in Northeast Ohio.

Jowan Smith saw the need for strong male figures in young men's lives. She took a leap of faith by creating her own organization, with just one tie.

“You see the confidence on their faces when we teach them the basics. Then, when they find out they get to keep the tie, it’s just so much excitement," Smith said.

Smith started 1,000 ties in 2019 when her son, Trayvon, needed help tying his. Fast-forward to present time: Over 10,000 ties have been donated!

More information on 1,000 Ties, here.

Toni Rhodes of the Chocolate Girls, Inc. says because of the pandemic, youth needed more mentorship and connection.

Rhodes says, in particular, Black girls need guidance, now, more than ever.

“Because at every difference level of a woman of colors’ life, they’re going to experience something different, and they need us to hold their hand and help lead them to the other side," Rhodes said.

More information on the Chocolate Girls, here.

Editor's Note: The following video is from a previous report.


Before You Leave, Check This Out