A group of 60 Baltimore youth traveled to New York City earlier this month seeking to learn about the importance of money and the role it can play in empowering their lives.

Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood visited New York City on 11/18/16 and while there toured the New York Stock Exchange.

Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood visited New York City on 11/18/16 and while there toured the New York Stock Exchange.

The group was part of Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood, a comprehensive program started in 1996 and aimed at building positive attitudes and key life skills among young men by exposing them to positive role models.

During their trip, the youth visited the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Hall Museum, and the 9/11 Memorial. According to Cameron Miles, the program’s founder and director, the trip was intended to give the young men, “a better understanding of money and what to do with it, and to understand that if used the right way, money and what you do with it can empower you and your family.”

“Many had never been to New York, so many learned that there is more to life than Baltimore, respect people from all over the world whether they look like you or not, and they learned to keep more of the money they receive than give it away or spend it on foolishness,” Miles said. “They also learned to respect life, their teachers, classmates and family more because like 9/11, it could all end in seconds.  Hopefully their lives were changed forever.”

Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood founder and director Cameron Miles is pictured with Kevin Farley, President of the New York Stock Exchange.

Since starting with just five students in 1996, Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood has served more than 3,000 youth. Weekly meetings host between 30 and 35 participants, or “kings,” who learn life lessons from five to seven mentors.