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When people talk,
listen completely.
Most people never listen.

- Ernest Hemingway

Student Profile - Clarence Coleman

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Im a fan of E CITY because

it gave me an opportunity to get better at something I know how to do.

What Clarence knows how to do is cut hair. After graduating from Glenville High School in 2001, he attended Barber College. It was something he had always wanted to do. And owning his own shop was part of that dream.

Clarence at work on his plan

YO! Cleveland winners

Although he was able to obtain work cutting hair, being a business owner seemed unreachable. Then, through YO! Cleveland, Clarence learned about the E CITY entrepreneurship education program. He committed to attending E CITYs class at YO! Cleveland headquarters in the summer of 2003.

Its, like, one of the best things that ever happened to me, says Clarence. I learned about business and they taught me the fundamentals of being an entrepreneur. I think I was made to be an entrepreneur, he adds.

Why does he think that? Maybe he resonated with what E CITY teacher, Peg Zitzner, taught him about personal commitment to a vision, seeing interests and talents as opportunities, and being aware of peoples needs.

I look at cutting hair as an art form. Im proud of it. It motivates me when someone sits in my chair- I want to be the best, for them.

I didnt do well in math in high school. I just wasnt really paying attention, explains Clarence when he thinks about all that he learned and understood in the E CITY curriculum. It made immediate sense to him. So much so that he says I dont want that first class to be my last experience with E CITY. I want to enhance what I know and be part of their alumni programs. And Mrs. Z is the coolest, he says of his teacher.

Clarence and Mrs. Z with the YO! Cleveland class

Yes, Clarence wants to fulfill the dream of owning his own shop. For now, you can visit him at Even Cuts (16122 Lakeshore, near 161 St.) where he rents a chair from the owner, Wednesday through Monday. I figure that if I were a shop owner, Id save the $150 per week booth rental. Thats $600 per month and $8,000 per year, he quickly calculates. I would have 3-4 other barbers to pay rent to me and that would cover my expenses.

Clarence is eager for further connection to E CITY, and he says he would like to tell other teens:

Its a stepstool to the American dream.

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