Interview by Derek Grosso
Name: Miguel “Geno” Tucker
Profession: CEO/Executive Director, Remember Us Urban Scouts
Quote: “I spent the majority of my life in the streets looking for a way out knowing that I was destined for more that just being in the streets. After 3 years of traumatic experiences losing three of my closest family members, I was connected to The People’s Justice Project. This organization came to support us from my nephew being killed by the Columbus Police Department and was my breaking point. I knew I had to do something different and be something different.”
“I spent the majority of my life in the streets looking for a way out knowing that I was destined for more that just being in the streets,” said Miguel Tucker, CEO/Executive Director of Remember Us Urban Scouts. “After 3 years of traumatic experiences losing three of my closest family members, I was connected to The People’s Justice Project. This organization came to support us from my nephew being killed by the Columbus Police Department and was my breaking point. I knew I had to do something different and be something different.” Working with PJP, Tucker learned and was introduced to community organizing. “I began working to educate, inform, and empower the community of the injustices that Black and brown people continue to be subjected to,” he said. During this time, Tucker went back to school to finish his Associates Degree in Business Management with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Columbus State Community College while working construction. He was presented a opportunity to begin working for a youth development organization focusing on youth involved with the Juvenile Justice System under Amber Evans. “Two weeks into working for the organization, Amber committed suicide and I was forced to run the organization with no formal training or experience,” he said.
Tucker worked there during 2019 while completing his associates degree and one of his last classes was business plan writing. “I wrote the business plan for Remember Us Urban Scouts,” he recalled. “By the end of 2019 I resigned and launched Remember Us Urban Scouts programs in 2020 during COVID.” Since this launch, he has received a dual bachelors degree from Franklin University in the areas of Management and Leadership & Business Administrations. On April 11, 2023, Remember Us Urban Scouts celebrated their four-year anniversary. “I am proud to say we now have a team of five staff members and have served or worked with over 350 youth across the City of Columbus in the past two and half years.”
What makes your organization a “Nonprofit to Watch?”
Remember Us Urban Scouts provides youth in school and out of school with social skills, life skills, social emotional understanding, and career training programs. We currently work with 60-80 youth weekly between our in-school and after-school programs in the Linden community.
As a kid what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
As a kid I wanted to be someone that helped others – most importantly a lawyer – since my brother was sentenced to 30 years to life as a 15-year-old. However I did not believe that it was ever going to happen based on where I came from. As I got older that dream of being a lawyer shifted to finding ways to make enough money to be able to afford to buy him a lawyer.
What is the one thing you are most passionate about?
Working with young people to help them believe they are so much more than what they have been told, shown, and feel that’s all they can be.
How do you stay motivated and what drives you to take things to the next level?
Seeing the growth and development of the youth and staff that I work with continues to motivate me. Understanding where we are and where we want to go as an organization drives me to continue to take things to the next level, and understanding that each next level comes with additional challenges.
What might others be surprised to know about you?
That I have two other businesses. One is a landscaping business that hires returning citizens, teaching them the business and allowing them to become employee owners. My other business is Business Consulting where I provide individual and group coaching and/or training services to ensure the next or current generation of business owners or executives have the skills needed to continue their development and growth.
How can others in the Columbus community get involved with your organization
Volunteer opportunities at all of our events or attend one (or more) of our monthly Week of Purpose events, including youth night, parent (community) night and monthly community bike rides. Visit our website at www.ruurbanscouts.org for more information.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
The pulse of Columbus is growth and development.
Since 2014, The Columbus Foundation’s 5 Nonprofits to Watch platform has honored remarkable nonprofit organizations that are working to strengthen and improve our community. Meet all of the Nonprofits to Watch in 2023 »