Since 2014 Joshua Walker has been the founder and CEO of Avenue Music Group. The Brooklyn native started the nonprofit organization to provide entrepreneurship opportunities for high school students, to prepare them to succeed in their future careers and young adulthood. The program also provides internships, mentoring classes and much more. Currently the AMG is located in five different schools in Brooklyn and is seeking to expand throughout New York City. The organization is located in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Walker told the Amsterdam News, “I started the AMG, because I wanted to make a difference in my community. I believe AMG is meant to be a mentoring and enlightening program for the disadvantaged students in the community. Because of broadcast and social media, African-American and Latino students are told that they cannot be as successful as white youth. However, that is not the case! AMG is a movement to change the mindset of these youths.”
The 24-year-old CEO continued, “I enjoy being the head of this company and not because I am my own boss, but I am able to see my notions come true. It’s one thing if I only said, ‘I wanted to make a change’ but it’s another when you have actually created change. I also like working with my students. It’s exhilarating when I see them engaged and enthusiastic.”
Walker was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He always knew he wanted to be a businessman. He said, “I was always interested in selling goods to my classmates since elementary school, whether it was chocolate or gum. It felt natural to me to be an entrepreneur. When I got older, I went to school for three years to study Business Management, but I felt that college wasn’t meant for me so I dropped out and started my own organization. “One of the challenges I have been facing over the years is the lack of a vigorous team to help me expand the program. A leader is only as strong as their team.” Along with AMG, he is also the founder of Black Academy Clothing Company, and the co-founder of ThinkBranding. Every profit the Black Academy Clothing Company makes, a small percentage goes to AMG. Unfortunately, they do not have a website for Black Academy Clothing Company but they are working on it.
Partnered with Stacey Jailall, ThinkBranding is an organization that is dedicated to guiding small businesses in their community by using a holistic approach. Walker stated, “Unfortunately, a lot of small-business owners do not last long because the owners are not well-educated about the real world of business. That’s why Stacey and I decided to start this program.”
Collaborating with the Bedford Stuyvesant Business Improvement District, Walker hosted their annual Back-to- High School event. During the family-friendly activity, AMG gave out school supplies and prizes, and presented performers. “I just want to take the time to thank all of those who came out to support the event. It was truly a success and we could not do it if the community did not come to support,” Walker stated, adding that “Our next event will be in November for Thanksgiving. We will be providing food and necessities to community members in need. Our goal is to help more than 2,000 people this year.” In 2016, AMG helped more than 900 people and collaborated with other community-based organizations for their Spread Love Thanksgiving Day event.”
For more information about Joshua Walker, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to keep up with AMG by visiting their website www.amger.org.