Harvard entrepreneur and NBA veteran zero in on Port Arthur for youth financial education pilot program

Published 12:32 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A national company has chosen Port Arthur as a site to launch a college prep and financial education program.

David Adefeso and Cedric Ceballos of The Sootchy Charitable Foundation & Sootchy Inc. made the announcement Tuesday of choosing Port Arthur for The Sootchy Education Program.

They spoke at a regularly scheduled city council meeting.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Sootchy partners with businesses and other stakeholders to create college funds for students. In addition, they have built a financial literacy program to teach children the value of credit, avoiding impulse buys, the difference between assets and liabilities, etc.

Adefeso, a native of Nigeria, came to the U.S. on his 21st birthday with $250 and no friends or family. He was homeless for six months but also had a college degree and no student debt.

In two years he passed his CPS exams, two years after that got into Harvard Business School and graduated, went to work on Wall Street with minimal student debt that he paid off in two years.

He then went on to start his own company.

Cedric Ceballos is a California native who played varsity basketball his senior year, averaging four to eight minutes on the court, not enough to qualify for a scholarship, he said.

He had to find a way to get an education and moved to Ventura, California, and paid for his own education. He happened to be working at a fast food restaurant when a coach walked in, remembered his name and they talked. This opened the door to him playing basketball at a university he had already paid for, which led to playing in the NBA.

“The point that I’m making here is the kids that are out there need an opportunity to change, they need somebody just to push them along. Obviously, I didn’t get that opportunity through basketball. I just got that chance from me going to work at a fast food restaurant, earning my keep,” Ceballos said.

Adefeso said they are hoping the program deletes generational poverty through education.

The company leaders are looking to the city for support by introductions to schools/students, businesses, government officials and more.

Last year the men spoke with community members about the program that works to build a college fund for children while teaching them financial independence.

The City of Port Arthur was chosen from a pool of eight cities for the program.

For more information, visit sootchy.com.