Khary Lazarre White: Helping At-Risk Youth Succeed
Khary Lazarre White is a Harlem entrepreneur and philanthropist who just so happens to be the brother of actor Adam Lazarre White. However, his biggest and arguably most important title is as CEO of Brotherhood SisterSol, an organization he started 15 years ago while still at Brown University.
The non-profit program, which provides a holistic wrap-around service (social, educational, employment etc) for at-risk youth in Harlem, has an impressive success rate - 95 percent of its students are college graduates or working full time. To date, nearly 500 students have gone through the program.
White, who lives in the Harlem community, saw the need to help the next generation achieve their goals despite their economic and social backgrounds.
For this edition of "Social Goodness", I interviewed White about what he's learned through is work with Brotherhood SisterSol.
Q: What life lessons have you learned as CEO of Brotherhood SisterSol?
I have learned a tremendous amount of life lessons. Most powerfully I have been inspired and moved by the fortitude and power of our young people. BHSS works with some of the most precariously situated young people in New York City. Some come from strong families struggling to get by for these young people we are additional hand in raising them; some come from families that have been devastated by socio-economic issues and we are, for them, the most stable influence in their lives.
To watch these young people learn and develop and grow strong; to watch them hone their minds and to witness them become strong moral and ethical adults and leaders has been transforming. Many of these young people have overcome failing schools, drug and violence invested neighborhood and twisted examples of manhood and womanhood. They inspire me and the rest of the staff of BHSS each and every day.
Q: Tell me what have you learned about yourself personally and professionally throughout the work your doing with Brotherhood SisterSol.
I have learned a great deal with regards to management and administrative skills during my time at BHSS. Supervising staff; recruiting and supporting a Board of Directors; fundraising; providing strategic analysis and planning; teaching, etc. are all professional skills I have formed at BHSS. I have also received, along with my co-founder, an affirmation that committed people with a view of social change and of building an institution to support this vision, can achieve such a goal.Continued on the next page