By Ralph E. Moore Jr.
Kids! I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today…
Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way?
– “Bye Bye Birdie,” the musical
There is nothing wrong with our children and youth overall. Yes some (too many) have gone astray, carrying guns and engaging in gun violence, but they deserve our attention, our support and our resources to help them grow into responsible contributors to society.
Sadly, the media publishes, posts and broadcasts the negative news generated by the minority of desperate, unruly and perhaps long neglected and/or abused youth in our city, state and nation. Violence among young people is not an easy problem to fix, but we just must keep trying.
In the meantime, there are children, teenagers and young people doing great things such as starting their own businesses. They are smart, courageous, creative and willing to work hard and be independent in working on their projects.
Close to home, two young men who were campers in the Nawal Rajeh Peace Camp, in its 17th year at St. Frances Academy and Community Center, have started their own businesses. Michael Booth, 18, sells fashionable clothing through his company, Richcrwapparel. Looking at his website, one will see colorful t-shirts and hoodies adorned with the logo Booth created himself. He is a graduate of Belair High School in Belair, Harford County, Md, where he took a yearlong business class in management and marketing.
“I definitely learned a lot,” said Booth. “I learned how to know how much to sell your product for and how to cover the money that I spent in pricing and make a profit.”
Booth heard in the class that pricing the product is where so many businesses fail. When asked what Booth sees in his business future, he says he intends to go to school in the fall at Failsafe University in Orlando, Fla. He will be working at Disney World and looking around for a place to open a stand-alone store for his clothing line. For a young man who started out with pressing images on plain shirts with a hot iron, he’s on his way now—making a profit with the business he started on July 4, 2021.
Booth gave words of advice for other young persons.
“Try to get comfortable with promoting your own business–and don’t let folks tell you what you can and cannot do,” he said.
D’Juan Eggleston, another former Peace Camp Junior Counselor, 16, attends the SEED School of Maryland in eleventh grade. Eggleston has three businesses: Perfect Treats, DJ Custom Graphics and Hitemuphard, Perfect Treats makes delicious, sweet things such as candy, chocolate covered pretzels and strawberry treats. He also makes portable, customized backdrops for those who want a background for their partygoers picture poses. With DJ Custom Graphics, Eggleston designs and prints fliers, banners and even customized labels for water bottles including requested graphics.
Eggleston, a serial entrepreneur, also has a clothing line, called Hitemuphard. There, he designs and sells T-shirts, shorts and sets of women’s leggings. took over the clothing business from his older brother five years ago. Although his mother considers it a family business, Eggleston is deeply invested in the company with his time, energy and designing talent.
Eggleston’s mom encouraged him to draw and design when he was a child and she eventually gave him an iPad on which to practice drawing. She also gave him a laptop for the same purpose. Eggleston’s businesses are doing very well. They are all making a profit and like Booth, he puts proceeds from sales into a separate bank account to be able to put funds back into his businesses. His companies can be found on Instagram at the following accounts: @djcustomgraphics, @hitemuphardbydj and @perfecttreats.
“I am trying to get to the top,” said Eggleston. “I want to go to different states to post fliers around to market my business and I am currently designing business cards.”
To reach these young entrepreneurs, Michael Booth’s website www.richcrwapparel.com and his number is 443-454-0616. D’Juan Eggleston is looking forward to posting a website one day, but in the meantime, he can take texts only at 667-375-9582, his business number.
Please support and encourage young people who are doing positive things with their lives. And try hard not to give up on the difficult youth.
All children are a gift from God and we must always do the best we can for them all. I know, it’s much easier said than done in many cases.