TULSA, Okla. -- Jessika Tate is a family and personal injury lawyer.
She's also a mentor through the Entrepreneurship Shadow Program, which started to bring down violence and teen pregnancy during the summer months in North Tulsa.
"They need to see that there is role models outside of whatever violence that can be going on in the community. It gives them a chance to see and aspire to do different and be different," Tate said.
New funding through Osage Casino is creating connections with more business owners, offering $600 per students a session, and allowing business literacy classes.
"Those skills are important just for life, to be able to be a successful adult. Especially if you're going into the legal field or any other field you need to be able to have those kinds of skills," Tate said.
As students get real life experience at places like the courthouse, they begin to envision what's possible for their future.
"I actually have hands on experience, I think that's very important. Especially as a young person where you're in that space trying to figure out what you're trying to do with your life," participant Allysa Ware said.
Like her mentor, Ware is a Booker T Washington graduate. She said while working in Tate's law office, she's felt herself blossom.
"I can't just be shy. I have to get myself out there I need people to know who I am and know what I'm about. So they definitely helped me with that. You have to market yourself. If nobody knows who you are, how can they know to call on you?" Ware said.
Since the program has started, the non-profit 100 Black Men said gang violence is down.
"You're around people who want better for you. When you know better, you do better. Just seeing people who actually push you is very important. If you don't have that then you don't get that experience," Ware said.
The goal is also expanding businesses in the future, ultimately allowing Tulsa to grow.
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