JCU Students Form Youth Mentoring Program

CLEVELAND — Two students at John Carroll University are using their talents and skills to help other young adults.

Ned Barnes and Michael Gong formed the Carroll Ballers, a youth mentoring program that centers on basketball at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.

“Basically, the basketball was just a chance to relate a little bit better to the guys here. I mean, we see a lot of potential in them and that was just a way we could relate, build that communication, build that trust within each other, ” said Gong, Co-Founder of Carroll Ballers.

The program has been going on for about a year and aside from shooting hoops, the students also tutor the young men at the detention center and help them prepare for their future ahead.

“I think they’re doing a good job coming down here, helping us out. I told them when I get out, hopefully I’ll get my GED, go to Tri-C and transefer to be a John Carroll student,” said D’Armen Taylor.

“The relationships that we’ve built and just the entire program itself, it’s been a blessing for me and really just been something beneficial,” said Ned Barnes, Co-Founder.

The program has been so successful, it has expanded to now include a program for girls.

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