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Meet Brian Larrabee of Good City Mentors in East Hollywood, South LA, and East LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Larrabee.

Brian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in the All-American city of Albany, New York. I graduated as “Business Student of the Year” from Southern New Hampshire University and was the school’s first-ever NCAA Academic All-American. After school I played professional basketball overseas, worked for Televere Systems where I became the highest grossing and youngest National Sales Rep in company history, and even had a short stint in acting, landing over ten national commercials. I had what many would call “success” in every field I worked in, but I still felt like I could. I longed to use my talents to make a difference in the world.

In 2015, I was invited to give a motivational speech to students at a high school in Crenshaw, California. These students grew up in challenging environments and lacked access to the opportunities they needed to learn, grow and thrive. After my speech bombed, I realized that the youth didn’t need another motivational speaker coming in once to boost them up; they needed to be surrounded by caring adults who would consistently show up for them. The next week I came back and brought 30 of my friends to begin what is now, Good City Mentors.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting our program in a new school, one of the biggest challenges is when you don’t look like someone or come from the same area, there can be preconceived biases. Building relationships through consistency and love break down those barriers over time.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Good City Mentors story. Tell us more about the business.
Good City Mentors partners inspiring professionals and creative brands with local high schools, providing school-day mentorship. We wanted to reinvent mentoring; take the pressure off of the individual mentor and connect students to a larger community. Our innovative team mentorship model creates a mentoring community where everyone is invested in the success of the others. Our Personal Leadership Development programming provides structure to the mentoring process so mentors just have to show up. Through consistent, caring relationships we have been able to positively impact students’ well-being, attendance, school engagement, and graduation rates.

Today, Good City Mentors has over 200 volunteers from some of LA’s leading corporations such as Netflix, Uninterrupted and Matte Black. For the 2019/20 school year, we will be operating in 10 schools across LA.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Our program is all about building meaningful relationships, so it’s no surprise that the growth of Good City Mentors has come about through the relationships we’ve cultivated over time.

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