Black in Cincinnati: 'I value those who believe in me'

Posted at 7:08 AM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-06 07:08:46-05

Welcome to the series, “Black in Cincinnati.” We invite people to write honest and personal stories of their life in the Queen City. Do you have a story about being black in Cincinnati? Let us know. You can scroll to the bottom for contact information and to see other stories in the series.

Jayren Dismukes is a student at Cincinnati State, studying business and communications.

Growing up with my mom in Avondale, I learned that how you spend your time is the investment you make in your future.

Even when we were at our lowest, we always looked and talked to each other to raise one another up.

I believe communication between generations will significantly improve the way we think about ourselves and how we view the world around us. 

I believe that education and our youth hold the survival of society in their hands.

I’m going to college to develop my own non-profit and youth development organization. 

This past summer I traveled to Tanzania for a mission trip to start youth councils in order to help communities and villages to grow. The villages were rich with eagerness, youth and leaders willing to invest in the expansion of their community.

The communities there value the same things as Avondale or Bond Hill, which tells me that every child needs a village to be raised in if we have any chance of growing as a community.

Avondale Youth Council members with Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. Alicia Mitchell, Jayren and India Terry.

My mom reminds that through thick and thin you will always have family, not always blood-related either. 

From serving on the steering committee of the Childhood Poverty Collaborative, to serving in the community, I am learning that self-sacrifice is self-motivation every day.

From taking care of myself and my mom, working in the community, and now creating an organization, I am learning that your investments determine how you quantify your time. 

Jayren and his mother, Andrea Andrews

While in school, I work to provide for my mom and myself. I can see that life may not be easy but you can still make it fun. I work at the Partnering Center, where we monitor and coordinate youth councils throughout the Cincinnati area.

From working in the youth council and even Tanzania, I plan on implementing the same model of the Avondale Youth Council to all youth councils internationally. 

Growing up in Cincinnati, I have learned the values and principles I must uphold to stay consistent and persistent along my journey, while taking the time to build bonds among those I interact with. From having humbling conversations with my mom to my brothers telling me not to second-guess myself, I value those who believe in me. 

Being a black man in Cincinnati is not the easy, but it is an absolute honor. I can truthfully say that moving at a meaningful and purposeful pace will bring the best out of me. I plan on using that to elevate, serve, and learn from others as well.  

Other stories in the Black in Cincinnati series:

Black in Cincinnati: 'This is my story'

Black in Cincinnati: 'My family, my purpose'

Black in Cincinnati: 'I thank my dad every day'

Black in Cincinnati: 'Culture shock'