YMCA of Greater Erie

Downtown YMCA’s Teen Center will be welcoming a very special speaker on Fri. Oct. 23, “Freeway” Rick Ross. Ross is a former drug dealer having a very successful empire at locations throughout the country, making up to $2-$3 million a day.

Before becoming involved, Ross was an exceptional tennis player but got rejected from school because of his low quality of education. This rejection led him to become a drug entrepreneur, and other street activities. Ross received the nickname “Freeway” after purchasing a hotel for a dealer meeting place located near the Harbor Freeway.

After being tracked down by authorities, Ross faced several years of jail-time during the 1990s. After Ross was released from jail, Ross stayed clean and founded an outreach center.

Marcus Atkinson, downtown YMCA’s Teen Center Director says that Ross will discuss the value of education, negative effects of street activity. “This will be our first opportunity of getting the word of the new Teen Center out into the community,” Atkinson says.

Atkinson says that the message that Ross with bring is important for the teens. “They are surrounded by is so much hype” Atkinson says. “The hype that is getting fed to the kids isn’t real. They so often get lost between fiction and reality. Ross is a great example of the fake hype”.

Atkinson expects a large number of teens to attend. “The kid’s parents and grandparents know him and his story”, he says. “Parents are longing for their children to hear for themselves the outcome of these types of activities”.

“Freeway” Rick Ross will be speaking to teens ages 12-18 of the Teen Center on Fri. Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. in the newly renovated teen center. Please RSVP at 452-2361 ext. 228 by Wed. Oct. 21.