Celebrating Black Owned Businesses:
A Beacon of Hope For Young People

August is “Celebrating Black Owned Business Month.” Every community thrives when its businesses and individuals come together with a shared mission. One mission close to our hearts at The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is ensuring the safety of our youth from the perils of drugs and alcohol. This mission is reinforced by the phenomenal contributions of Black Owned Businesses across Connecticut that have gone above and beyond to mentor and guide our youth.

These businesses are more than just commercial entities. They are pillars of hope, inspiration, and guidance, especially for the younger generation. By partnering with local mentoring programs, such as the Urban Community Alliance in New Haven, Waterbury Youth Services, ConnectiKids in Hartford, and Bridgeport Public Education Fund’s M.A.A.C.S. program, they have sown seeds of promise for a brighter tomorrow.

It’s imperative to understand that the influence of Black Owned Businesses doesn’t just lie in financial contributions. Their genuine act of volunteering, sharing lived experiences, and fostering an environment where young minds can grow is truly commendable. Commentary highlighted by The Brookings Institution mentions Black Owned Businesses have manifested their unwavering commitment to the community.

Why are youth mentoring opportunities so crucial? When employees of small businesses engage in mentoring, it has profound ripple effects:

  1. Productivity Boost: A mentor’s guidance can help young people find their passion, potentially sparking new innovations or methods of working and achieving life goals. This not only helps the mentee but can lead to increased productivity within the business.
  2. Enhanced Morale: Knowing that one’s employer values community engagement and youth mentoring can boost employee morale and a sense of purpose.
  3. Positive Business Climate and Culture: Engagement in mentor opportunities for young people demonstrates a business’s commitment to its community, establishing a culture of giving back and fostering growth.
  4. Recognition and Brand Image: As businesses become recognized for their community engagement, their brand image is positively affected, translating to increased customer trust and loyalty.

As we celebrate Black Owned Businesses for their pivotal role in youth mentoring, we also understand there’s always room to do more. If your business, large or small, is looking to make an impact and be a part of the change, now is the time.

I urge you to consider expanding mentoring opportunities for your community’s young people. Connect with a school or community mentoring program and open the door to volunteering for your employees. Reach out to The Governor’s Prevention Partnership today and take part in our “So You Wanna Be a Mentor…” series.  

As one of the mentors we work with, Alex Warden of V.E.T.T.S. puts it – “You just don’t know who you’re going to impact; you may be impacting the next president.”

Together, lets craft a future where our young people are empowered, driven, and destined for greatness.

In your service and support,

Roland Harmon,

Co-President, Chief Program and Administrative Officer



To reach Roland, please email Roland@PreventionWorksCT.org

Watch Alex Warden’s full mentoring story here:

The Governor’s Prevention Partnership builds statewide capacity to prevent underage drinking and substance use and builds strategic alliances to promote the overall well-being of Connecticut’s future workforce.