Cordell Arellano, Cleveland, OH  

Lifelong Advocate for Youth Empowerment and Community Building

Owner at Jay-Cs Landscaping Stonary

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Cordell Arellano has been an entrepreneur since he was old enough to talk. He is no stranger to the “trenches” having spent his earlier years as a street dealer and leader in a different light, these experiences taught him the importance of being authentic and goal oriented. Cordell’s past issues with the judicial system and being a young father caused him to rethink his future beyond life “out here.” He chose to be a Promise Ambassador, a volunteer and supporter of the Cleveland Central Promise Initiative, during the summer of 2013 to support academic improvement in the Central neighborhood and to work to aspire a better future for his child and his neighborhood. To combat what he views as an atrocity, the Lane Metropolitan AME Church member created a program entitled: “Dealing with Peer Pressure”, to address issues that affect every teen but are greater challenges in a high poverty environment. Under Cordell’s leadership 17 youth were able to transitions from being gang members and potential gang members to students averaging at least a 3.5 GPA. Cordell looks to coordinate the building of relationships between organizations and community residents to help bridge the gap in communication and community health and wellness. He offers a wide range of programing from “Dealing with Peer Pressure” to “Reading Matters” a program for 2-5 graders to raise awareness of the importance of literacy. Cordell has several awards for his accomplishments in youth advocacy: MyCom Youth Voice Award (2013), Dr, Martin Luther King Jr.s “I Have A Dream” Award (2015), Catholic Charities Outstanding Citizenship/Volunteer Award (2015).

  • Community organizing / civic engagement

  • Volunteer management

  • Sustainability / resilience

  • Urban design

  • Urban farming and food justice


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