Four Memphis friends set up next generation for success

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Four friends from Memphis are taking matters into their own hands to change the city and set the next generation up for success.

AhDream Smith lives in New York now, but not long ago she was a Central High School student like most of the teens participating in her career day.

“As a student, as a 16- or 17-year-old, you are thinking about the next step, which is college, but you’re not necessarily thinking about the next step after that, which is employment,” said Smith.

Smith and three of her friends graduated, went to college and got jobs, and now they see a need to not only show other teens they can do the same thing, but also to actually plug them in with people who can help them do it.

“How do you get in to those spaces, how do you get connected with people? Here they can ask questions. Of course you can go online and do your research but we all know a face makes a difference,” said Smith.

Friday’s Career Day for teenagers and graduating seniors consisted of a panel discussion where the teens could ask questions about what types of jobs and careers are available after college, and internships and college classes to help them attain those jobs.

Smith says for the first time many of them are being exposed to different types of jobs at places like FedEx and Autozone they’ve never heard of like marketing and finance.

Asha Immanuel is one of the panelists and is also a central grad.

She has a big message for the young people.

“You can take your dreams you can take your goals and expand them no matter what you’re doing and no matter where you are. Just that sense of I can do it,” said Immanuel.

Government groups, non-profit organizations, and even corporations were also in the mix to teach the teens about the working world and maybe even offer a few internships.

Billy Williams didn’t want to miss the opportunity to come out for the career day and hopes talking with peers like him will help him become a leader.

“I want to be able to lead and take charge and get people to follow in my footsteps,” said Williams.

Williams says this event is helping him develop the leadership skills to do just that.