NORFOLK, Va. - You can't pick where you were born or even what neighborhood you grew up in, but a local group is teaching young men that they can change their future.
Kezia Hendricks created the Young Investors Group, which is targeted at teens growing up in high-crime, low-income neighborhoods.
Through a variety of different programs, they are given opportunities that they otherwise may not have been exposed to.
"We focus on real estate investments, we focus on trading in the stock market, we focus on entrepreneurship through technology and e-commerce," Hendricks says.
While these lessons are important, Hendricks says it's all about putting them into action.
Over the summer the boys made their own soap, went to a vending event, networked and sold it. They also learned how to sew their own bow ties and how to sell a home.
The teens also traded in their jeans for a new suit.
16-year-old Nigel Robertson says it was a life-changing experience.
"Changing the wardrobe was a new one for me when they were, like, measuring me and stuff I was like, 'I've only seen this in shows and movies.' This... this makes me feel pretty, pretty special."
Giving them a glimpse at what they can achieve if they dream big and work hard, the boys got a front-row seat on a private jet.
"That experience just motivated me further to strive for my future. I just want to keep on working so I can get there," Sir Thaddeus with the program says.
It's the simple gesture of investing in kids who may not have had anyone do that before.
"This is a group of youth that want to do better in life, want to give back to their community, want to mentor to the next generation," Hendricks says.
Those aged 12 to 19 can sign up.
The group is a nonprofit, so the more donations they receive, the more they are able to do. If you'd like to help with their mission, you can donate by going to their website.