YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Young men from schools around Youngstown gathered at Eastern Gateway Community College on Saturday.
It was for a Young Men’s Empowerment Conference hosted by the Kool Boiz Foundation.
The foundation is a non-profit that aims to teach middle and high school young men of color success through education, leadership, life skills and hard work.
“We want to let them know that success is possible for them and we have a lot of people that look just like them that have a lot of success and so we just try to make sure we bring those examples to them,” said Kool Boiz founder Bruce Rushton.
There were several guest speakers who spoke about their journeys to success and provided the boys with resources.
“J.P. Morgan Chase is going to do financial literacy, Ms. Jerry Jenkins is going to be here from myPATH to talk to kids about career paths and then I’m going to do a workshop this afternoon as well on leadership and the characteristics of leadership,” Rushton said.
The conference also gives young men tools on how to take care of their mental health and manage their stress.
“Presented a method to help them deal with stress before they get stressed, it’s called the block breathing method where you breathe in deeply for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds and hold again for four,” Rushton said.
Jibril Jackson is a sophomore at Cardinal Mooney High School. He said the conference helped him feel empowered and motivated.
“Us young Black men are able to do more than society tells us we can do, and that we are not mindless organs of mass destruction, rather we can do powerful things that can create things for generations and generations,” Jackson said.
More information on future Kool Boiz meetings is available on its website.