Growing up on the west side of town Julious George lived in a single-family home with his mother and siblings.
With no father present or any positive role models, “I looked up to the guys that sold the drugs and did all the bad stuff,” said George, CEO and founder of Young Generation Movement. “I stayed in trouble.”
While in and out of the streets, George was a victim of gun violence. During an attempted carjacking he was shot in the side of his head. The bullet entered his skull but exited out the other side. He knew then he had a purpose. “That was the turning point,” said George.
However, accompanying a friend that needed help placed him at the wrong place at the wrong time, landing him in jail.
“At the time of my incarceration, I had time to reflect on my childhood and realized that I had no one there for me. I felt that it was my responsibility to help lead the next generation,” said George. He founded the Young Generation Movement.
It was his mentor, the Rev. Benford Stellmacher, that helped impress upon him many genuine ideals.
YGM gives the young people something to belong to. “It’s about connecting with others, and being exposed to different people and things in life for relationships and opportunities that I did not have,” George said.
Not far from Margaret Fain Elementary stands their lot. On the front tree, the YGM poster reads “Stopping Community Violence: Pants Up, Guns Down.”
George’s vision is to have a safe place where kids can come. They can come after school, get a snack and help with homework. They can spend the night if there’s a problem at home. Most importantly an entrepreneurship – building towards a successful future.
The planned two-story community resource center will offer numerous programs that will help these at-risk children.
“The center will provide a value not only to the kids, but to the community as well.
“We will build a basketball court first, now only short by $2,500. With that being built we will be able to hold fundraising events there,” George said.
He has a text thread with 75 kids. It’s daily mentoring.
They meet up on a regular basis and have monthly community events. At the center, they meet every other Saturday for the Guns Down rally. He tries to have something for the kids to do every weekend.
George, now 30, is no longer a prisoner of that environment, and has not left or forgotten about those caught in the cycle. He has positioned himself to help the next generation.
For more information, visit www.ygmovement.org