Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Every 9 seconds a kid drops out of school

I've been a supporter and volunteer for a great organization called the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Founded in New York in 1987, NFTE's mission is to " provide entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities." The goal is to encourage entrepreneurship, increase financial literacy, and provide participants a reason to stay in school and continue their education. The Baltimore NFTE office works with over 200 middle and high school students through teachers certified to teach the NFTE curriculum. Throughout the year, the students identify a business idea, build a business plan and, if possible, establish a business. They work with mentors from the private sector to refine their business plans and develop their businesses. To encourage these young entrepreneurs, there are numerous local and regional business plan competitions, where they compete against students from other schools for cash prizes.

For those who are good enough to win these local competitions, there is the opportunity to be nominated and compete in the national business plan competition in New York, for $10,000. Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon , from award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio, follows these students as they prepare for and compete in this very intense competition. As a NFTE volunteer at Patterson High School in East Baltimore, I am the mentor for two students, William Mack and Ja'Mal Wills (pictured above), who are featured in this film. Their company, J & W Sensations, produces an all natural skin lotion. As a mentor and friend of these guys, I am incredibly proud of them and all they have accomplished. The film was released nationally in November and will debut on BET this Sunday, February 7th at 12 noon. I encourage everyone to watch this powerful and moving story about these young entrepreneurs from around the country.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post!! WE are so lucky to have you kevin and so are Will and Jamal.. I still owe you a copy of the film. Just got back from taking the kids to NYC to meet Russell Simmons. the fun never ends. :) Tricia