YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Urban Renaissance Center in downtown Youngstown has been around for three years. The non-profit organization mentors area youth, getting them prepared for their next steps.
“To have someone to relate to that you see that looks just like you, I mean, that’s going to be a lot more beneficial than somebody who’s never walked a day in your shoes kind of telling you what you need,” said Kevin Scott, with the Ohio Urban Renaissance Center.
The organization has already helped over 100 kids in the Valley, offering mentorship programs from sports to STEM learning.
“Once you talk to 20 kids and you realize that 17 of them have some of the same problems or some of the same issues, then you realize there’s a need for a program to be created,” Scott said.
“It’s a lot of youth looking for adult attention, per se. They’re looking for advice, they’re looking to tell what’s going on in their lives,” said Ryan Forney, president of the Ohio Urban Renaissance Center.
Forney mentors Davontae Miller, a junior at Cardinal Mooney High School.
“It really helped me in school, like, it really taught me how to work hard and achieve your goals and like, sports, it helped me to work harder and harder,” Miller said.
Miller says Forney and Scott are father figures to him — he learns something new from them just about every day.
“I learned that just because you grew up in a bad environment and stuff you can still do great things,” Miller said.
The Ohio Urban Renaissance Center is always looking for new kids to mentor and to present them with things and ideas that they never thought they could do.
“Our goal is to give them so much experiences so that they can have an easier time picking a career path,” Forney said.