Your Voices: The Breakfast Group guides at-risk youths of color throughout Seattle

For nearly 48 years, The Breakfast Group has been guiding at-risk youths of color throughout the Seattle area.

“I come into class, and like, I learned about my own history, and like, where it came from, and like, the history behind it,” said Ebrima Dukureh, a sophomore at Franklin High School.

The course led by The Breakfast Group is more than learning about black history. It is about being able to relate to their teachers.

“You just have role models around you that look like you, you know, it just goes a long way,” said sophomore Bubba Banks.

“It’s different, because it’s like, I feel like we’ve probably been through the same thing, you know, the world sees us the same way,” Banks added.

Banks and Dukureh say it gives them a sense of confidence to take on anything.

“I want to either go into software engineering, or I want to be a dental hygienist,” said Banks.

“I’ll say cybersecurity,” Dukureh added.

These are dream jobs that Dr. James Carter wants to help them reach.

“Providing service, it’s just, it’s just what I’ve been doing. It’s what’s in me. And, you know, it just provides the fuel for me to sort of keep going,” said Dr. Carter, who’s the Executive Director of The Breakfast Group.

After dedicating decades of his life to the Air Force and law enforcement, Dr. Carter found another way to serve his country.

This time, by shaping the young minds of the future through The Breakfast Group.

“The next doctor, the next person to cure cancer, the next person to create a satellite, or jet fuel or an invention could be sitting right here in this classroom, you just have to be inspired, you just have to catch that spark. Let me put some people in front of you that can help you catch that spark,” he explained.

It’s a spark that isn’t lit by curriculum alone but through personal experience.

‘We understand the trauma that students deal with before they even get to the classroom,” Dr. Carter added. “You don’t just look like me, you come from a neighborhood that’s similar to the neighborhood that I came from, you’ve dealt with some trauma and some situations that I may be dealing with now.”

All while allowing these students to create their own experience, by learning directly from successful African American professionals.

Each comes from all walks of life, to whom they can relate.

“So it’s access to opportunities, it’s access to the possibilities,” he said.

There are endless possibilities for a bright future, that Dr. Carter says, he’s proud to be a part of.

“For me, it’s just a moment of time, it’s just passing. But for them, it’s that touchstone moment that puts them on the path to what it is that they want to do. I mean, that’s, that’s a reason to keep doing this,” Dr. Carter said.