In 1991 Winston Strickland, Dr. James Fisher, and Don Johnson had a vision to establish a nonprofit organization to make a difference in the lives of Cobb County youth. They had noticed that much of the attention that was being paid to youth (in particular, black and under-served youth) was negative. The trio knew that these images did not represent all youth, but wanted to both debunk the misrepresentation and ensure that students were provided positive messaging, role modeling, and exposure to a wide variety of skill sets. In 1994, Blacks United for Youth-Cobb (BUY-Cobb) was officially incorporated. In doing so, BUY-Cobb developed its co-educational Leadership Academy to facilitate the approach of positive exposure and development of life skills missing in the current education system
Our program works to make a positive change in our community by instilling skills and confidence in our young black students. We ensure that our students are empowered by creating opportunities and fostering a growth mindset. Our team comprises professionals in various fields from law, business, medicine, etc, where students can look up to these leaders who look just like them. Through various workshops, mentorships, scholarships, and volunteer opportunities, students are able to attain resources that may have previously been a more significant gap in accessibility.