For most of their young lives, football was life for Gerald Baptiste and Korey Williams. Both were raised by single parents in what they describe as “poverty-stricken” neighborhoods in New Orleans; for both, professional football players were some of the only successful males to look up to, presenting the only opportunity, it seemed, to achieve wealth, prestige and fulfillment.

Both were stars on the Edna Karr High School football team — Baptiste as a quarterback and Williams as a linebacker — and both ended up attending and having successful football careers at Southern Mississippi University. But for a variety of reasons, careers in the NFL eluded the young men.

So both returned to New Orleans with aspirations to start their own businesses. Baptiste, being two years older, did so first: Mentored by men with experience in custodial services, he founded Eagle Eye Resources, a firm specializing in facility maintenance, in 2013. A few years later Williams returned home, too, and soon joined forces with Baptiste. The company grew, and before long the duo was focusing on real estate.

They began to acquire historic properties and restore them. Some they have sold, others they have kept as rentals. So far Baptiste and Williams, who are 30 and 28 years old, respectively, have completed renovations in West Carrollton, Bayou St. John, New Marigny, New Bywater and Gentilly.  (read complete article here)

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