Golden Institute provide opportunities for Memphis youth and teens

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 7:20 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Raleigh man started leading teens and young adults through his nonprofit, the Golden Institute, in 2015.

He says he knows firsthand how crime can impact a teen’s life, and since changing his own life, Golden says his goal is to give kids the tools they need to be successful.

Fall break is this week for MSCS students, and that means more free time for teens.

“You know with all the turmoil and trials and tribulations with the kids in the city with all the crime, idle time is the devil’s workshop,” said Golden. “So, we’re trying to keep them busy, being productive as well as learning a trade.”

The teens are a part of the Golden Institute, which is a nonprofit in Raleigh that teaches life skills, trades, and entrepreneurship.

“A lot of times we give and give, and it cripples them instead of showing them,” Golden said. “Let them learn the hands-on training and then they can move forward.”

Golden says he sees the rise in juvenile crime and wants more people to be a part of the solution.

“Faith without works is dead,” he said. We can talk until we blue in the face and when we want to change, we have to actually do something about it.”

Eight-teen-year-old Jerry Lee has been a part of the program for the past two years.

“Kids now, our generation that we live in, they all messed up,” said Lee. “They killing each other and doing all this, we out here learning, getting paid to learn.”

“I came to work here like 3 years ago,” said 18-year-old Travaughn Wallace. “Ever since I’ve been working here, I’ve been learning different things [and] it’s been improving me mentally and physically.”

The students are paid, and those who are still in high school work part-time after school, and on weekends.

Once they graduate, there’s a job waiting for them.

“We’re not against college but everybody’s not college material or wants to go to college,” Golden said. “So if you can get you a skill, get you a trade, you’ll be able to work and provide a stable means.”

Whether it’s learning landscaping skills, how to change a car’s oil or financial literacy, Golden says graduates of the program leave better prepared for the future.

“I ain’t always been in this place where I am,” said Golden. I went through different trials and tribulations and God has given me a new lease on life, so I try to give back the best way I know how.”

If you’d like to get your child involved in the Golden Institute, you can reach Charlie Golden Jr. directly at 901-288-0843.

You can also send an email to

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