Sasha and Obocho Peters
Sasha and Obocho Peters
Screenshot: QuickTake by Bloomberg

While most 11-year-old boys are begging their parents for toys and new shoes, 11-year-old Obocho Peters is earning cash with his mom and helping other families save for college in the process. Obocho and his mom, Sasha Peters, run Obocho’s Closet, a thrift store in NYC stocked with affordable clothes and shoes for kids up to age 12.

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Obocho and his mother started the store after he saw “Avengers: Infinity War” in 2018 and begged his mom to buy him the accompanying toys. “I wanted eight toys, but my mom, she just couldn’t afford it after paying all the bills, taking care of me, and taking care of her,” he recounted in a video produced by Bloomberg. “So I knew if that was hard for her, it was sure hard for other families too,” he continued.

Certain that other families also struggled to pay for essentials, save for college, and buy non-essentials like action figures, the Peters raised $12k through GoFundMe to rent the space for the shop. To keep the clothing affordable, no item costs more than $10; and to keep overhead costs low, all clothing items are donated.

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The Peters hope that Obocho’s Closet helps families keep a little bit more in their pocketbooks to afford the looming costs of college. Statistics show that Americans are saddled with $1.56 trillion in college debt—second only to mortgage debt—and that more than 45 million Americans have college loans.

This is why the Peters also donate portions of their profits to fund financial literacy classes in their community.

“I know that if a parent learns something and they have a kid, they’re gonna teach their kid everything they know so their kid can have the same knowledge that they had,” Obocho said.

In the video, the mom-son duo, sporting matching outfits and afros and big smiles, say they have found a way not only to brighten their economic situation, but to help others do the same.

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“It’s very fun to help the community because if I help the community, that’s my community that I’m living in,” Obocho added. “And I’m helping where I am at to be a better place.

He most certainly is. He is also a reminder of the power of family and the power of social entrepreneurship done well.

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