The vision behind this program is to cultivate students' entrepreneurial mindsets and teach them critical life tools that aren’t traditionally taught in schools. We surveyed in 2017, amongst different communities, to find out what they wished they had learned during adolescence. The overwhelming majority responded with:
1: Financial Literacy.
2: Leadership and Critical thinking.
3: How to start a business.
With that information in hand, we decided to create a program that would fill those educational gaps and give them a head start in their adult years. With this information not being taught in schools and most parents lacking the knowledge themselves, we strive to help the youth with these life-altering building blocks that are not available within their community.
THE PILOT PROJECT
The Youth Entrepreneur Program (Y.E.P.) was launched in 2018. Y.E.P. was first piloted at an inner-city school in Southeast Washington D.C. and was offered to their students free of charge. The resources for this initial program were funded solely by the organization's founder. The program consisted of 5 teens who participated in a six-week program that ran every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the summer. The course was designed to utilize project-based learning, teaching them about credit, stocks, leadership, how to start a business, marketing, and other topics. Each week the students had speakers come to the class, including small business owners, life coaches, Human Resource managers, realtors, and other community leaders/entrepreneurs. The students also went on different field trips to local small businesses to give them an inside look at their daily operations, amongst other things. At the end of the course, the students created their collaborative business idea and presented them to the staff and parents. The students started their own web-based t-shirt company and got to keep all of their profits.
THE FIRST DAY
THE LAST DAY
We continue to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX about how we can continue to reach young minds. With severely restricted in-person learning opportunities, we decided to go with a virtual approach to continue the program. While virtual was our updated vision, it does come with its perks! Being a virtually based program removes the restriction of only being in one school with one group of children. We would now offer our program to multiple schools and reach many more students simultaneously.
Unfortunately, the students in our target audience are located within school districts that face the most significant financial strain. We understand that they likely will not have additional funding to support our program, so we would be offering it to them free of charge.
We continually partner with small businesses for each project we create because we feel that small businesses are essential to the community. With that being the case, each class would be taught by an entrepreneur specializing in that particular field.
The course will be 6-8 weeks long, depending on the instructor's course outline. The classes will be held Monday-Friday from 4 pm-
7 pm. Each course will be 1 hour long. In addition to the instructor, each course will have an independent moderator from the Cooperative Opportunity Project to collect data and monitor safety. Many of the courses will also be joined by guest speakers. After the 6-8 week program, each student will be given an e-book for future references and resources.
VIRTUAL AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM DATA 2021
TO HEAR FROM SOME OF THE STUDENTS, GO TO OUR IMPACT VIDEOS