Columbus Ga. (WRBL) – Ken Lockheart is using his platform as Director of Campus Life and Recruitment at Columbus Technical College to get Black youth out of the streets and in into school.
He sees the young men in the streets and wants to offer help and way out. He knows that giving young folks an opportunity to get educated can make a world of difference in their lives. Poverty increases the risk for violence, and Lockheart knows that the streets have abundance of both. He sees it as his job to be a role model and get young men on a better path.
“Being a positive role model being passionate about what I do being passionate about helping my fellow brothers and sisters,” said Lockheart. “And just basically bringing them to education, it’s ultimately the way, if you want to reverse poverty it’s ultimately through education.”
Lockheart continued stressing the skills that youth can attain through education and said, “Leadership skills to be able to actually gain knowledge to go into the workforce and make a decent salary. I mean, a really good salary. Longevity, actually be able to grow. To grow in your career field to grow with your family.”
Lockheart credits his late mother as the inspiration to his work in the community. “My mom she was a social worker. She worked for the enrichment services program for over thirty years. And right now, I actually sit on the board. The Advancement committee board or as they know in Columbus enrichment services.”
Lockheart said this mission fits right in with his work.
“Ultimately their thing is basically those things to educate the kids feed the poor and take care of the elderly. So growing up under my mom, as a social worker it’s just kind of in me to do that. Kind of walk in her journey where she was actually walking; as far as being a humanitarian. So that’s what I do live my mom’s life mission of being a humanitarian.”
In terms of his work with the youth he sees his job of being a role model as large part of that mission.
“When kids see me. Or when potential students see me. Those are people in the community. Just being who I am. [It’s about] being a positive role model, being passionate about what I do, being passionate about helping my fellow brothers and sisters.”
He believes that being relatable is the key here.
“You may have to speak a bit of a different language, because you ultimately have to speak their language is what it really boils down to. So I try to stay up to breast on the music that they’re listening to the things that their doing weather it comes to Instagram or whatever. So you just got to stay up to date on different things.”
Lockheart continued to say that being a role model is much more than being relatable.
“It’s about character. Doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. I truly believe in that. You have to do what you say you’re going to do. And the only way to really touch someone and bring them to the point of being a better person, and a better human being is to show someone. And I show that through my actions. You can talk all day, but what are you actually going to do.”
His message to the youth is simple.
“You’re better than that. There’s so much more to life. If you truly want to evolve go and get your education. Try something different. What’s going on in the streets right now is terrible, but I can honestly say to those individuals: get educated.”