Free-Market Training Inspires One Young Man to Want More From Life

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The John William Pope Foundation’s new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Xavier Massey, a high-school student whose life was dramatically changed for the better after going through the Jesse Helms Foundation’s “Free Enterprise Challenge”:

Life is tough for Xavier Massey.

The 16-year-old from Waxhaw, North Carolina, works part-time at Wal-Mart to help his mother put food on the table for his siblings. At the same time, Xavier attends high school as a sophomore.

Xavier’s father died when he was just 5-years old, forcing the young man to partly support his welfare-dependent family.

“I’m the youngest, but I’m in the middle of everything,” he said. “I’ve had to grow up faster than other teenagers because of having to help my mom with the bills, having to work, and having to go to school.”

But Xavier hasn’t been forced to fend for himself. During the summer of 2012, he received invaluable training from the Free Enterprise Leadership Challenge, a project of the Jesse Helms Center located in Union County, North Carolina.

Established in 1995, FELC is a 5-day summer camp that gives rising high-school sophomores, juniors, and seniors a golden opportunity to get hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, business, and leadership. The program, held at local colleges and universities, now counts over 6,000 young people as graduates. (To learn more about registering, click here.)

Xavier credits the summer program with inspiring him to go onto college one day — and perhaps pursue a career in free enterprise.

“The conference challenged me to want more for myself,” he said.

Read more Achiever Spotlights here.