Editor’s Note: This story was done in partnership with Rayvon Taylor’s ‘The Ray Podcast.’ Listen to the full interview here and catch other episodes here.
FLINT, Michigan -- Percivierre Whitmore founded Share the Keys
in Flint in 2020 with a goal of helping provide entrepreneurial knowledge and mentoring to young men in Flint.
The idea for the organization came from Whitmore’s own experiences volunteering in the community. He saw up close that many young men in the city don’t receive consistent help when it comes to connecting their creativity and dreams into achievable entrepreneurial ideas.
Over the course of 12 weeks, the program connects participants with mentors and organizations that aim at helping young people turn dreams into realities that can impact the community in a positive way. Participants receive guidance, feedback, participate in virtual sessions, and create their own action plan during the course of the program.
Whitmore also recently published a book aimed at unlocking creative purpose. A Creative’s Writing Journal
is available online and Whitmore did a book signing and event at Comma Bookstore
in September to share the book with the community. Whitmore recently spoke on The Ray Podcast about his motivations.
Rayvon Taylor: Who inspired you when you were younger? What got you to the point you’re at today?
: “It actually started, I wanted to be an athlete. You know, the usual! Everybody in Flint wants to ball, everyone wants a mic. But it wasn’t until I got to this school (Mott Middle College) and ran into some teachers that started telling me that I had something special. I was used to hearing that from my parents, but when it’s somebody outside of that realm, you take it a little more seriously.
“The launching pad, though, was really when I was at Doyle-Ryder Elementary School and I was a community resource developer there. I would be handling partnerships, connections, the whole nine. I would see how the youth are being taken care of, but what I wanted to do, I had to ask myself, how can I make this better? I love that we’re giving them coats, that we’re taking care of their needs, but what about their daydreams? What about things outside of school they want to pursue?”
Rayvon Taylor: For those who don’t know what Share the Keys means, how would you explain it?
: “I was in the shower, and all I heard was ‘share the keys.’ This was a pivotal point in my life, I was going into college at UM-Flint, and I recognized that as a young Black man, there wasn’t a lot of things or programming for young men my age to help them or initiate an exchange of knowledge in the pursuit of success.”
Rayvon Taylor: Let’s talk a little bit about your book coming out.
: “The quick backdrop of how I created the book is, during that period (the pandemic), I actually lost my job. During this period of actually creating a book, I didn’t have a job. I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to write a book, and I was like, I’m not going to write a book that’s 100 pages, I can tell you that! I barely got to 14!
“The saying goes, by a guy I idolize named John Maxwell, he says that if you want to be able to touch everyone in the world, write a book. Because there will be places you can’t go but a book can. This book is all about my journey as a creative and how I took the initiative to be able to exchange, to receive, to learn, and to take those necessary questions like what’s your mission, what’s your goal, what’s your objective?
“It’s not just a book you should fill out and complete and put on your shelf. I want this to be a consistent, everyday, successful thing you can execute every day.”
Listen to the full interview here. Follow Share the Keys on Facebook or Instagram.