News + Resources

Anthony Boatman – Lead to Change Facilitator

L. Brian Jenkins, MA - Tuesday, February 17, 2015



Anthony Boatman is committed to the community and mission of StartingUp Now. Anthony began working with StartingUp Now to help develop his own business, but he also recognized that he could utilize the program’s resources to help fill an important need in the community- a need that hits close to home. Anthony grew up as a ward of the state from the age of 3 and spent his early childhood moving from one foster home to another. This tough start in life lead to him finding a place in the criminal justice system. After being incarcerated several times over, he decided enough was enough. Anthony spent the last 10 years working in at-risk environments. He served as Community Outreach Supervisor for CeaseFire Rogers Park for three years and prior to that he spent many years working with organizations that provided housing to the formerly homeless. He is now the Director of the Genesis Project, an entrepreneur, and a StartingUp Now facilitator. Anthony is on a mission to make an exceptional difference in the community.

How did you began using StartingUp Now as an entrepreneur?

I began using StartingUp Now to not only develop my personal business plan; but also incorporate the training into an ongoing program. Currently StartingUp Now is in the 5th of a 12 week training.

What lead to you decision to become a StartingUp Now Facilitator?

As I looked at other youth programs as well as those working with the formerly incarcerated; I observed that all were teaching employment skills and no ownership. I thought if people focused on ownership first, the employment skills would develop naturally. I attended the facilitator’s workshop and set about the business of recruiting for the first class. Our first training began January 10, 2015.

How has StartingUp Now helped formally incarcerated individuals?

Currently we are in the pilot training phase and creating a partnership with a reentry program. Once the details of the partnership are clear, information as pertains to formally incarcerated individuals will be available.

Share with us a success story you've witnessed as a SUN facilitator?

Currently the youngest participant in the training is a young lady 10 years of age. Her name is Jasmine Johnson. She has served as an inspiration to the other participants in the training. Some form of class presentation is required for each class. Jasmine always overcomes her nervousness and presents to the class without fail. Jasmine has already begun creating business cards for her business.

Please, provide any advice or words of wisdom that you have learned in your entrepreneurial ventures?

People that really want to succeed in ownership never make excuses. They are driven by their goal. They are never deterred by the hardships. If they should fall they always get up.

MARCH 2016 UPDATE: It is with a sad heart that we share the news of the passing of one of our StartingUp Now Facilitators, Anthony Boatman. Anthony was the director of The Genesis Project, a ministry of A Just Harvest that marshals community assets and other resources to create economic development opportunities in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. As Director, Anthony brought The Genesis Project to life. He loved the community with all of his being and was dedicated to making sure that everyone had the opportunity to prosper. StartingUp Now was privileged to have him as part of our Facilitator family. He will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at A Just Harvest and in the community.

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