Empowerment: We spend the time with youth in our community showing them alternatives to behaviors that have become standard practice. We educate but we also demonstrate new methods of conflict resolution and responsible citizenship practices.
Compassion: People don’t want to know how much you know until they know how much you care. Showing the compassion to each youth we engage with our programs and outreach is done by lending an ear to listen, going to where they are to reach out to them and just being ‘there’.
Respect: We are sensitive to the needs of our youth. Those turning to violence have been let down in some way and our approach is one that seeks understanding of their concerns. We offer respect and love and in turn look to gain the ear of each one of our young people with whom we engage.
Slogan: “Creating change, one person at a time.”
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rashawn L. Welch is the chairman of the board of directors for Cease Fire, INC. Welch was born in Cleveland, Ohio to two African American descendants, Curtis Welch and in loving memory, Marcella Welch, bearing four children. After living a few years in the inner-city, the family moved to the countryside seeking a better life in Andover, Ohio. The Welch family are proud Church of Christ members and devoted their life to their Christian values.
Rashawn was baptized when he was eleven, joined the choir at age twelve, and became the song leader a year later. He also participated as a singer in his high school jazz band, joined the basketball team, and courageously sung during half-time.
Though learning was a challenge for Rashawn, he was the only African American male who graduated from Pymatuning Valley High school in the year of 1998 and was accepted to Cleveland State University.
Rashawn was very sheltered as a child which lead to a few misleading decisions when he became an independent adult. Rashawn left Cleveland State and moved to Miami where he endured a fast lifestyle. After decades of trial and error, Rashawn is now happily married to Catalina Welch (March, 23, 2014), praise and worship leader at the Hope Church of Christ in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Welch runs a successful luxury car rental business named 305 Elite, renting exotic cars to local celebrities. ‘Shawn’ as he’s known to friends and family, also has four teenagers whom he adores and inspires daily accepting the fact that he too, is not perfect. Rashawn aspires to share his story with young black men in the Miami area to seek alternatives for financial success and hopes to keep many of them off the streets.