Everyday Hero: Man uses music to help mentor troubled youth

By Bill Murphy, Everyday Hero Host
Last Updated: Monday, July 10, 2017, 5:32 AM EDT

Jerry McMillon is a business owner, husband, father, and for the past several years, a mentor.

  • Jerry McMillon uses music to help mentor young minors
  • McMillon, owner of JLM Records, teamed up with Eckerd's Project Bridge
  • Program transitions troubled youth back to their home communities

Everyday Hero host Bill Murphy met him in Tampa at his place, JLM Records, a full-service production and recording studio.

Involved in numerous volunteer projects, McMillon has teamed up with Eckerd’s Project Bridge, which transitions young boys and girls back to their home communities from various juvenile justice residential programs.

“We wanted to put our attention towards underprivileged children and second chance children,” McMillon said.  “So for the past couple of years that’s been our focus.”

One of them is 17-year-old Jaquez Cantave.  McMillon calls him a multi-talented writer-singer-musician.

As a former troubled youth, McMillon knows the challenges kids face.  He had no mentor but the birth of his son was just as effective.

“My father was in and out of my life, in and out of prison, and I didn’t want to be that father.  I wanted to be there for my son,” McMillon said.

McMillon began the non-profit Inspire School of Arts and Music to help kids like Jaquez, who with McMillon and others, rapped to Project Bridge.

The soft-spoken teenager is now getting his G.E.D.

“Life is like a sharpie. You cannot erase it but you can fix it,” Cantave said.

“If I can help a child not go through what I went through, then I’m happy about that,” McMillon said.