Youth mentoring event at Brainerd High teaches important life lessons to combat violence

More than 100 Black young men, from Middle School through College, gathered at Brainerd High School on Saturday morning to learn life skills that aren’t taught in the classroom.

The event called "Distinguished Gentleman" was led by LaDarius Price, who mentors young men and teaches them important lessons.

"A lot of lessons around entrepreneurship, how to conduct yourself when you're approached by law enforcement, and then also about their overall health as men, it's something that we don't talk about a lot in our community," Price said. "So, we just want to educate them on different facets just about life.”
Bryanna Idzior reports.

Through these lessons, Price said he hopes to continue the fight against violence in the Chattanooga community.

"This is a continuation towards our efforts to combat the wave of violence by providing the necessary education and tools for our young men to be successful," he said.

One speaker was an entrepreneur who goes by the name “JT Automations”, and he said he grew up in a single-family household an his success didn’t come easy.

But, he said he wants these young men to know that you can take control of your life.

“As a little kid, you might feel like this is all the world is going to be, but there's things that you can do even as a young person to set yourself up so that you can have more opportunities," JT said. "Things like staying out of trouble, things like trying to make good grades, so that it does allow you, if you want, to go to college.”

Speaker Keith Blackman said the road wasn't easy for him either.

"[I was] dealt cards that didn’t set me up to be a winner, but somehow I got out, and I got myself a bachelor’s degree," Blackman said. "The key to your success is who you allow to influence you.”
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