Nearly two dozen employers across Columbus came together Friday to help provide employment for young men of color.

The summit and job fair is part of the city’s “My Brothers Keeper” initiative, which was launched by former president Barack Obama in 2014.

“I feel like it is a really dope opportunity because there is not a lot of positive energy everywhere and I know at  MBK I’m going to learn a lot of things I can use further in my life,” said Columbus Downtown High School senior Cire Ly. 

Cire Ly is one of the 250 high school students from across Columbus that got to take part in the fair.

“I’m like laying out the foundation for my sisters too because, I’m the first one born in America,” says Ly. 

Ly is a first-generation American. His mom and dad came to Columbus from Senegal, says he faced a fair amount of challenges growing up.

“In my freshman and sophomore year I fell off, but I recognized I need an education to be successful,” said Ly. 

Having overcome those struggles, the high school senior now interns at a local law firm and has the opportunity to be the first in his family to go to college. Accepted into Morehouse and Central State University, he hopes this job fair can land him a second job for The summer.

“We want to make sure that our young boys and men of color actually have substantive opportunities this summer,” said Carla Williams-Scott, Director of the Department of Neighborhoods for the city of Columbus. 

Opportunities that will have a lasting impact on a young man’s life.