I had the pleasure of sitting down with Juan Goodwin of #PromotePositivity (www.werbcg.com). I heard a lot about what he was doing in the community of Cleveland Ohio, so I want to put his information out to the world. I am always happy when I see other young men my age that are doing very positive things.
Me: Juan, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Juan: I am from Cleveland Ohio. I am 28 years old. I went to Walsh University, I majored in Special Education. I graduated from Walsh University in 2007. Now I am the Youth Coordinator at the Salvation Army here in Cleveland on Hough Ave. I am also a managing partner at Bruce Clinkscale Goodwin Inc. We are a consulting firm that specializes in Professional Development, Youth Development, Public Speaking, Community Relations etc…… I also got a book coming out in the spring called “Crack Baby”.
Me: That is great! What is your book about?
Juan: It is a book about my life. Everything that I have gone through in my time on earth, some people see the glory but don’t know the story.
Me: You are so right about that. Tell me did you start #PromotePositivity?
Juan: Yes I started it about two years ago. I was tired of all the negative images that were portrayed in the media. So what we do is if a kid gets straight A’s, Perfect Attendance, Good Behavior, playing sports, it really does not matter as long as it is something positive where are here to promote that positivity. Anytime kids are not robbing or killing each other, we really want to put that energy out there because everyone is not carrying themselves like thugs.
Me: Is your program gender specific?
Juan: No, it does not matter your gender or color we want you to be a part of our program. I really would not call it a program. We go throughout the entire school district having functions for the children. We go to community centers, homeless shelters, so we are trying to help all people not just youth but we do have a special emphasis on youth.
Me: What is youth specific?
Juan: For Salvation Army we have “Teen Group” we probably should change the name (Laughing) it is for ages 12-20. We talk about everything from Politics to Sex. There are no parents allowed and we just take the gloves off and let them talk. A lot of times we tell youth what they need to do but we do not listen to what they want or their complaints. We do these talks from Cleveland to Columbus.
Me: It seems like you guys stay busy. How could someone like me volunteer my services?
Juan: We are always looking for volunteers. We have a 5K coming up this summer for #PromotePositivity. We never have a 5K in the heart of the city. It is always in the Suburbs. So if you want to be apart of this event or anything else you can contact my assistant Laura Bartlett. Her email address is Laura@werbcg.com
Me: Good stuff! Is there anything else you want to let the people know?
Juan: Yes we have a HBCU Prep School here in Cleveland and we are always looking for people that went to a HBCU, on their way, or have some type of affiliation whether it was with the band, sports, or any type of organization. We have the only HBCU Prep School in the country, Kindergarten-5th grade.
Me: Man I love what you guys are doing in the Cleveland area. Keep up the great work! We need more young people like ourselves to give back to our communities.
Juan: That the right thing to do. We have to give back. My people we are trying to make giving back sexy. It is a movement! I appreciate you doing this interview.
Me: Thank you for your time and everything that you are doing! Stay blessed! Remember to Keep It GC!