Finding Steve Jobs in Ferguson, MO.
Yes indeed, there is a Steve Jobs in Ferguson, MO.
There also a Bill Gates, and a Herman Russell (the famed Atlanta builder), a Dr. Helene Gayle (CEO of CARE), a Ted Turner, and a Reginald Lewis too. There's an Ambassador Andrew Young and a Susan Taylor (former editor of Essence Magazine) even, in Ferguson, MO. They're all there, but no one is even looking for them.
And while there is an expert system in place to identify say criminals, or in youngMichael Brown's case, even the 'the suspicions of criminality,' there is no system whatsoever in place to identify the gifts, yet alone capture and cultivate the unique talents, of the young people in Ferguson, MO.
Maybe that young Steve Jobs is 10 year old Marquis Govan, who so captivated the nation with his articulate plea to the local St. Louis Commission looking into the problems there, saying "they don't want tear gas thrown at them, they need jobs." Or maybe in this case, more young dreamers like Steve Jobs!
Ferguson, MO, a town 6 miles wide with a total population of approximately 20,000 people, is known worldwide as the place where Michael Brown was gunned down, unarmed, and where riots and rioting became the dominant form of emotional and psychological expression of a young generation' frustration. Before that, most of the world didn't know a thing about Ferguson, and now it's only reputation is a negative one. But things could be different in Ferguson, MO. My family lives 10 miles from Ferguson, MO.
There is a young Steve Jobs there. As the HOPE Office of Innovation, Research and Assessment graph below points out, young people from underserved and the most stressed out communities across the nation have the SAME potential as privileged youth everywhere. And depending on how you read, the data, they have even more potential.
My team tracked youth opinions before and after they experienced our HOPE Business In A Box Academy intervention strategy, and amongst other things we found that while 42.1% youth said they wanted to own their own business before we engaged with their hopes, aspirations and dreams -- 79% reported wanting to be a business owner afterwards! Or look at the percentage of young people who said they thought more education equated to making more money -- a key indicator of 'educational relevancy.' 96% of youth agreed that the more education they got, the more money they would make, after our intervention work.