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Spreading the word about Opportunity R3

Teens and young adults, ages 16 to 24, Friday (Jan. 6) will have an opportunity to learn about solutions for job opportunities and personal development thanks to the city of Memphis’ Office of Community Affairs. 

The Opportunity R3 (Rethinking, Rebranding and Rebuilding) information session runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Ave. Registration is not required to attend. 

Opportunity R3 is a collaborative effort with local government and community stakeholders to identify solutions for job opportunities and personal development. 

“This is a program designed for individuals, who are not working or in school, to identify their career paths and goals,” said Ken Moody, special assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland and director of Community Affairs. 

The program includes strategic partners who can recommend or refer potential participants. 

“We have reached out to Project Stand, Juvenile Court, Memphis-Shelby County Schools and local churches to increase awareness about the initiative and to receive referrals,” Moody said. 

The program began in 2022, with $2.5 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Participants receive $250per week for attending the training, Moody said. 

Since Opportunity R3’s   inception, 70 participants have been served. Opportunity R3 meets five days a week from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. to explore job opportunities and entrepreneurship. 

“In a three-week period, we establish a relationship with individuals to find out what may have caused them to get off track,” said Moody. “We help with soft skills, employment, or entrepreneurship direction. 

“Opportunity Youth is removing barriers and connecting the gap between preparation and opportunity for young people to realize their full potential to transform lives and the stability of communities.” 

Moody said the program needs “mentors, who can help on a personal and professional level.” 

To learn more about the initiative, visit https://opportunity.memphistn.gov/opportunity-r3

(Paula Anderson is a freelance business journalist. She can be reached at writingbydesign7@gmail.com.)


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