Spotlight

Son of a Saint salutes "Spotlight Sponsors," partners that go above and beyond in support of our mission.

Kenny Welcome & Derrick Strozier of J.P. Morgan Chase Private Bank
Kenny Welcome and Derrick Strozier are the best of friends and colleagues, and both share a core connection to the work of Son of a Saint. Welcome and Strozier are Tulane University alums as graduates of the A.B. Freeman Business School, each with successful football careers during their higher education journeys. Strozier went on to enjoy a stint with the New Orleans Saints. Now, they work on the same team professionally for J.P. Morgan Private Bank in New Orleans, offering critical financial advice to clients, ranging from corporate executives, business owners, and athletes, to entertainers and other high-net worth individuals. They understand the importance and the power of making key investments. Fitting because the mantra of Son of a Saint remains, "If you love New Orleans, invest in its future."
Since 2015, Strozier has participated as a Son of a Saint mentor and he is currently paired with mentee Thomas, who aspires to play collegiate football and declare a major in Business. Welcome serves on Son of a Saint’s Executive Mentor Council, a network of executives and business owners who together advance the organization’s mission and the wellbeing of its mentees. Both are passionate about optimizing the relationship between JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Son of a Saint, as a means of effectively tackling issues facing disadvantaged youth in New Orleans. They both cite the continued growth of Son of a Saint as one of the proudest accomplishments during their time supporting the organization.
"Seeing where Son of a Saint started and what it has grown into today is absolutely incredible," says Welcome. "The 2019 Annual Gala demonstrated Son of a Saint’s growing impact and has by far been my proudest moment to witness."
"My proudest moment wouldn’t be a single moment, but more so witnessing the growth in the boys and their maturation process from the time I met some of them to now," says Strozier. "The people these young men have met, the career paths they’ve learned about, their social and cultural experiences and more have opened up their minds and exposed them to a whole new world—one they oftentimes may not see consistently in their neighborhoods and communities."
What do Welcome and Strozier see for the future of Son of a Saint? Oncoming growth, expansion and depth of services, while providing more vulnerable youths newfound opportunity, guidance and tools to be successful in their own right and to chart a course for a brightened, enhanced future.
"One of the biggest misconceptions regarding Son of a Saint is that the boys are just alike. There’s nothing further from the truth,” says Strozier. “Yes, they share one commonality in that they can all relate to having an absentee father in some way, shape or form. However, a lot of these boys come from various backgrounds, cultures, areas in the city and socioeconomic statuses,” he explains. “Son of a Saint brings these boys together and, despite their differences, they bond together and form a true brotherhood that speaks for itself."
"It’s about taking the lead on changing these young men’s lives," shares Welcome. "That means providing fatherless boys examples and connections very few of them may have never experienced otherwise. This is an actual problem Son of a Saint is doing the work to solve."
For JPMorgan Chase & Co., an idealized relationship with Son of a Saint consists of exposure, education, empowerment, networking and financial backing. Each of the four elements will lead to greater impact, visibility, effectiveness and results for Son of a Saint as the organization draws nearer to its tenth anniversary.
"We have the opportunity to leverage the name, brand and partnership resources of the largest bank in the world," says Welcome. "Our goal is to effectively assist in the expansion of Son of a Saint, through opportunity creation and direct mentorship, starting here in New Orleans and across the country."