New nonprofit Empower 901 works to motivate and empower at-risk youth

Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new nonprofit organization is looking to empower young people in Memphis.

That includes connecting them with jobs, providing mentorship, and helping them make a positive impact on our city.

The face leading the City of Memphis will soon change, but the calls for more resources for young people across this city remain.

“We don’t have any major organizations that target young Black, brown and yellow kids to make sure they have an equal opportunity to thrive in live,” said Empower 901 Board member Sidney Chisim. “That’s what this organization is about.”

Empower 901 is a new nonprofit organization looking to empower at-risk youth through mentorship and service. Pastor Reginald Boyce, with Riverside Missionary Baptist Church in Whitehaven, is the CEO.

“When I was able to have a vision for myself, I went to college and my journey has always been shaped by mentors like Mr. Chism, just constantly pouring it to me,” said Boyce.

Pastor Boyce says his friends and mentors resonated with his own story and had their own.

“I want to give the same opportunity to other young boys, other young girls as well [who] maybe don’t have a mentor in their community and other neighborhoods,” said Pastor Boyce.

He says the organization has three programs:

  1. 901 Reach focuses on young people referred by Shelby County Juvenile Court and schools.
  2. 901 Serve gives young people the chance to give back to communities around the city through different volunteer opportunities.
  3. 901 Beyond is focused on mentoring and assisting youth with work-based and life skills.

When asked what success looks like for Empower 901, Boyce said, “Success for me is when that child that has been in and out of the juvenile system never returns. Success for me is with the kid that had no patience for their life is now going to school, they’re not facing truancy. They have a vision for their life.”

Empower 901 is officially launching with a block party from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Horn Lake Road Learning Center in Whitehaven.

If you’d like to learn more about Empower 901, you can contact them at

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