By Jessica Boyington
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Eugene Thomas, or Buddha — as he is affectionately referred to by his friends and family — now lives in Northeast Philly, but he remembers what it was like as he grew up in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.
“You know, you go through different traumatic events and stuff like growing up and stuff, you see a lot of different things,” he says. “They lose a lot of people to gun violence right now.”
So, he wanted to make a change.
In 2015, Thomas started a nonprofit organization called Power Circle Youth. It’s aim is to help children and young adults up to 25 years of age overcome life traumas and show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
To reach his audience, he partnered up with local schools to teach entrepreneurship and life skills, using guest speakers, community volunteer work and after-school classes.
“I want them to be able to have some type of skill or to be able to create businesses. So, you know, other kids can either work for their businesses or they can, you know, generate money like that,” said Thomas.
He says it’s a safe space where questions are encouraged.
Since the start of Power Circle Youth, Thomas said he’s helped hundreds of youth, and he only plans to reach more.
“One of my goals, as well, is just to be able to like leave leave my mark down here to be able to help tons of other people so they can help other people,” he says.
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