By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Urban Youth Mentoring Program held its 11th annual “What It Takes” symposium before a standing room only crowd at the African American Museum this week. The two sports marketing moguls were the guests of honor.
Larry Miller and Howard “H” White run the NIKE Jordan Brand. The duo interacts with the likes of sports legends like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. Together, they’ve built one of the most successful sports brands ever — but that’s not where they started.
“I grew up going through the same things the young people here are going through,” says Miller who was once part of the Cedar Avenue gang in West Philadelphia. Today the
Temple University grad was president of the Portland Trailblazers and is now the president of the Jordan Brands.
“For me to have the opportunity to do the things that I do means that they can do it also,” he says.
Haverford High School freshman Joel Allen is taking the advice to heart.
“Don’t give up, believe in myself and I can do anything if I just put my mind to it,” he says.
“Our goal is to show all of our young men that with a lot of hard work, you too can be at those highest levels of corporate America be an entrepreneur or whatever they want to be,” says Michelle Martin of Urban Youth Race School, which organized the event.
Urban Youth Mentoring also includes STEM programs, as well as online mentoring for African American boys ages 14 to 18.