By Harry Johnson | Photograph from Mecca Gamble

Harry Johnson is a fund raiser and entrepreneur, who works for BMe Community, Harry Ventures, LLC., and the Jeron Xavier Grayson Foundation.

I owe any success that I have or will achieve in the future to the dedicated and passionate mentors throughout my life that uplifted and increased my vision as a child. I grew up like many other young black boys across America, in a single-parent home with no father and a world of opportunity outside of my front door.

I moved around a lot growing up in the South, attending three different high schools in four years because of a hard-working mother who did all she could to provide the best opportunities for me. I grew to be able to quickly adapt to new people and new surroundings. I also developed a strong talent for cultivating relationships, often finding genuine commonality in others no matter how different a person may seem to be.  

By the time I graduated high school, I was skilled in connecting with anyone from any background. I honed this skill in college into a real talent as I became heavily fascinated and involved in government and politics. An early mentor and the first person to ever give me a shot in the “real world” was a former North Carolina State Senator Katie Dorsett. She saw something in me that I did not yet see in myself and hired me as her summer intern at the State Capitol, which forever changed my perspective on the world.  

I realized early that anything is possible and strategic collaboration with strong people can have a tremendous impact. I’m forever grateful for her spirit of mentorship and for opening doors that I did not know could be available to me. I now manage the Pittsburgh office of the largest fellowship for social entrepreneur black men in America.  

It is with the spirit of mentorship that we must all have to pour into others, especially our youth. We must use our influence to help shape and build the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and innovators for Pittsburgh. 

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