Empowering Young Leaders in LA
When we started the Young Entrepreneur’s Program two years ago, we thought it would be a summer long experience for a few high school students to make some money and learn a bit of a trade. That summer experience turned into a curriculum and a renewable, sustainable program that has now had four different cohorts go through it.
Last fall we partnered with RenewLA, a nonprofit organization that liked what we were doing and wanted to get involved. We ran a cohort of 20 students through three different tracks—artisanal coffee (barista training), performing arts, and screenprinting. We are preparing for our fifth cohort, and this spring it will be Coding (Programming), Photography, and Videography. We have 25 students enrolled, and we are actively participating with two different local high schools to provide the students.
As this program has grown, so has our vision. Our desire was to expand beyond screen printing, which we have done. Now we must broaden even further, and we are in the process of rewriting the curriculum to be entrepreneurialism in general. The biggest and most exciting change though, is the new target demographic. We will be moving from a high school student-centric model to that of three of the most at-risk populations in our urban centers—returning citizens (those formerly incarcerated), homeless, and survivors of human trafficking. These are groups with whom we already have relationships, be it because they live in our communities, we see them all around us, and we know and work with agencies and organizations that currently work with them. Please pray that we have great wisdom and open doors as we retool, rethink, shore up and hone what is already an effective program.
World Impact is about empowering urban leaders, and this is one of the most strategic and relevant things we can do, all from a faith-perspective that highlights how to do so as a follower of Jesus. Pray also that God leads us to the right people in our recruitment. We are excited to see what God will do!