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Community Highlights: Meet Jeannette Eason-Fields

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeannette Eason-Fields.

Hi Jeannette, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
As a formal Director of Financial Aid of more than 14 years, I’ve always felt that it was my responsibility to be a positive force in the lives of people I encountered, especially our youth. I have met youth with dreams of being the best in life and I have met some as they struggled at their worst. I have always felt that regardless of a person’s social-economic status they should all be afforded the same opportunities to develop their dreams. JTK Youth Empowerment Services is a non-profit organization that was created for the purpose of offering youth a safe place to develop their business dreams and earn funding to bring those ideas to life. I wanted to give youth a non-judgmental place to learn and develop their entrepreneurial ideas regardless of their race, gender or economic status. Our youth are very resourceful and creative and if given structure and funding, they can go from selling water bottles on the corner to owning multimillion-dollar businesses. They can go from selling dollar candy bars or boxes of cookies in school to owners of store franchises. I do believe that “I am my brother’s keeper” and I do have a responsibility to offer our children a chance to become strong change agents in their community through financial independence and break generational curses.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
One of my biggest challenges as the founder of JTK Youth Empowerment Services is learning that not everyone will support your dreams. I’ve learned that those closest to you will become your biggest naysayers. In learning this, I realized that it really wasn’t about the doubt they had in me, it was about the doubt they had in themselves. I understand now that not everyone can embrace change and in me living my business dreams, they no longer had excuses as to why they shouldn’t be living their dreams.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about JTK Youth Empowerment Services Company?
JTK Youth Empowerment Services is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that offers youth the opportunity to become business leaders. We help youth develop their business ideas, create logos, business plans and offer scholarships to become registered business owners through our JTK Leadership Training program. We mentor and help those first-time business owner’s family members understand and become strong support for their youth by learning about business finance. The goal is to create and offer low-income youth opportunities to access financial independency through business ownership, I take pride in knowing that JTK Youth Empowerment is offering low-income youth opportunities that they may never have been offered. We are breaking generational curses by creating more black-owned and minority-owned businesses and accessing opportunities to better healthcare, housing and education.

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
As a founder of a non-profit organization that drives on creating more black-own and minority-owned businesses, it can be very risky. We are creating non-traditional approaches to reaching one’s future goals. For years, we’ve been taught after high school you must go to college to be successful, and of course that is still true, but it is equally important to understand that there is more than one way to achieve greatness. These types of risk have and continue to be challenging because non-profit company’s financial security is based on funding from public entities. We believe that our youth are worth the risk in convincing the public and our funders that change is not just necessary but change is inevitable.


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