By Tahisha Charles

Cassius Cohen, 21, takes pride in his role as a career development and youth specialist at the Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF).

He started the job a little over a year ago. Cohen now enjoys mentoring young adults and encouraging them to start learning about financial stability. To him, the job is all about economic empowerment. Cohen the facilitates workshops on workplace safety, challenges, resources, and entrepreneurship.

Before speaking with the Scope, Cohen had just finished working at BCYF’s “Ready, Set, Success” event. Students were provided with free professional headshots, professional clothing, and resume support.

When asked about the challenges facing Mission Hill, gentrification was the first thing that came to Cohen’s mind.

“I’d say right now [the biggest challenge] is specifically the gentrification,” he said. “Property value is too high.”

With renovations taking over the streets of Mission Hill, Cohen believes that city officials do not support residents enough. He said that neighborhood leaders should consult the community for their opinions on developments and provide resources for black entrepreneurs to excel.

“I don’t think enough is going into giving back to Mission Hill,” he said.

When Cohen is not working in Mission Hill, the Hyde Park native spends part of the school-year working at Boston Renaissance Charter School. During the summer, he teaches at Boston Latin Academy through a program called “Generation Teach.”

Cohen believes that more teachers of color should be involved in the education and that their work is more impact when students can see mirrors of themselves.

“I know that work is impactful. So that gives me hope everyday surrounding their future. And I know things are heading in the right direction.”

About this project 

The Scope’s student journalists spoke with community members in Mission Hill. #MissionHill100 is a collection of their stories. 

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