– The coronavirus pandemic is particularly hard on young people from underserved communities in the United States. There are not many support systems or activities available.

As the situation improves, a new organization is looking to help youth through a combination skill-building and support.

Jump Ahead L3C (a hybrid for-profit/nonprofit organisation) is the brainchild Deandre, an entrepreneur from Grand Rapids Michigan. He is passionate about keeping young people off the streets, and teaching them valuable skills.

Jump Ahead L3C was established by Jones in 2018. He received a $10,000 grant from Grand Rapids SAFE Task Force Pit Night to start a pilot program that would reach at-risk youth within the community.

The pilot project provided a $450 stipend for each participant in a group consisting of 10 youth to participate in service-learning projects. It also allowed them to attend skill-building workshops, events and activities.

Jones started to plan for a community center after the pilot project was completed in August 2018. It will offer programs like screen printing, screen printing and e-sports.

“One of my goals in this is to inspire young entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life that if you work extremely hard and you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything and do it in a positive way,”He says.

Jones describes Jones’ ultimate goal to create a community centre that will help improve infrastructure in the area, especially for those living in poverty. The center is still in development and will open seven days per week.

Furthermore, “We will also hire youth and pay them for service learning or community-based work as we did previously with the $10,000 grant,”He says.

Of course, raising funds remains a challenge.

Jump Ahead L3C currently sells baseball caps and is seeking investors.

“Covid-19 has made it tougher for us to receive merchandise and to raise capital to purchase a building to operate our organization structure. We did apply for a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan, but we were not approved,”He said it in Forbes magazine’s recent interview.

Jump Ahead can be found at jumpedahead.com for more information on Jump Ahead, as well details about how you can support them through donations and volunteering.