'Glad to be that person:' Lead2Change pairs students with mentors in their chosen fields

MILWAUKEE -- Stephon Ricks is your typical high school student. He has a passion for engineering, but doesn't quite know the path he wants to take yet. That's where Marcus Taylor comes in.

"I don't have a mentor at the moment for engineering, and even if we don't have the same engineering field, he'll still help me," explained Ricks.

Stephon Ricks

The pair met a few weeks ago, and they've formed a bond over the engineering field.

"Have you thought about this? Have you thought about that?" asked Taylor, a mentor from Lead2Change. "I just saw his face light up, and I thought, you know, we need to keep talking."

On Saturday, March 2, they chatted some more at Operation Build, a two-part service event and fundraiser where students and adults re-purpose furniture together to auction off.

Operation Build Lead2Change

Dionne Grayson

"We thought it was a great way to spend some quality time working on something," said Dionne Grayson, executive director of Lead2Change.

The first-time event was put on by Lead2Change, an organization that helps young adults develop their careers. 18 pairs created unique furniture to be auctioned off next week, all while interacting with professionals who are in their fields of interest.

Operation Build Lead2Change

Operation Build Lead2Change

"Even working on a simple chair, doing it all over, taking it apart will teach me skills I need as an engineer," said Ricks.

As Ricks and Taylor build their chair, they also continue to build a relationship.

"I wish I had somebody like me, and I'm glad to be that person for him," said Taylor.

The items will be auctioned off next Saturday at Razed and Found. Proceeds go to Lead2Change's career-readiness program. To learn more about Lead2Change, click HERE.