LIFT has already made an impact.
1. Cortez Martin, Executive Sous Chef.
I first met Eugene in 2003 at my church, Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple. I was 13 years old living in a single parent household so inevitably I needed guidance Eugene was there! I can’t thank him enough for everything he has done for me and taught me.
At the age of 15, I started my culinary career at my church. I would wash dishes at our catering events and help out around the kitchen and I loved it! They soon advanced me to the cooking aspect of things which is where I found what I wanted to do with my life.
Through the years, I worked jobs washing dishes and assisting just as I did at my church. I knew I had to work my way up so I would take any shift I could get. I would catch buses and even walk just so I could get to work. I stayed down for a long time to get where I am today and it’s made me a better man and Chef. None of this would have been possible without Eugene.
Eugene always stayed on me about working hard and being committed. Once I learned what I loved and wanted to commit to, he taught me my true worth. He taught me to be proud of who I am and what I do, but also to stand on my word and to keep it. That is truly invaluable.
I feel kids should join LIFT because it is truly a positive program. It helps our youth learn practical skills and propels them forward to be who they want to be, just as Eugene did for me. LIFT is life changing and I think that every kid can learn from it and be better for it.
I would take myself as an example of what the program stands for. Kids always need a role model and a little extra guidance to be who they want to be. I would encourage any parent to let their children join. I am just one testimony of many who have been impacted by mentors like Eugene. I'm excited the what he has taught me is now a formalized program in the city.
“LIFT is about positivity and learning. I would encourage all to join this great program!”
— Cortez Martin
2. Read what some of our leaders are saying!
"This is major! Sign me up! Ready to roll up my sleeves!"
— Hurley Coleman
"It's needed right now!"
— Tony Chappell
"This is much needed! I'm all in!"
— Jesse Short
"With all the negativity going on in the world, this is a great idea!"
— Timothy Tipton
"So many of our young men are low. They need a LIFT!"
— Dante Flanigan