The question was posed at one of CBC’s Amplify luncheons last year: “What would you do with $150 million if you had to use it toward some type of development initiative in Cleveland?
Each of the four panelists that day — experts, in our eyes — not surprisingly provided provocative responses that were specific to their construction and development trades. I attempted to answer likewise in an ensuing column, primarily because the Amplify discussions had not touched on what I believe is our most important demographic: the children of Northeast Ohio.
So, I bequeathed most of my $150 million toward the benefit of our youth. But, of course, that generosity was only a hypothetical.
That’s one reason why I’m particularly proud that we have put together this issue, which is dedicated to nonprofit organizations and community service. Eight of our 16 bylined stories — including the lead article of a Centerpoint section that this month focuses on mentoring — pertain to children.
This scenario did not occur by design. In developing the editorial game plan, we simply found many of the most intriguing nonprofit-related stories in this area are specific to helping today’s youth. And that’s a good thing.
On pages 14 and 34, you’ll read about kids who are learning life’s lessons as members of Girls on the Run and The First Tee of Cleveland.
On page 30, you’ll see that students in Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood enjoy access to a state-of-the-art healthy-living learning campus that was funded by the St. Luke’s Foundation.
And on page 20, you’ll find that youth mentoring is alive and well in Greater Cleveland. We spotlight the relationship between adult entrepreneur Jeff Nischwitz and business owner Blaine Mickens, who turns 20 this month.
Nischwitz, who guides fellow adults for a living, best summed up my feelings upon being asked why he uses some of his valuable time to mentor a teen at no cost.
“I love it. The way to make a difference in the world is to work with young people. They’re generally more open, and frankly they have more of their life in front of them. I’m just planting the seeds.”
Sow enough of those seeds, and we’ll recoup that $150 million and then some.