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A good entrepreneur can solve unique problems and adapt to dynamic situations. They see a problem and work towards a viable solution. Here at Young Americans Center, Denver’s inner-city youth are learning the important skillsets of being a great entrepreneur through the YouthBiz program – skills that are applicable no matter what career path they decide to explore. Despite many obstacles such as remote learning, social distancing mandates, and no in-person Marketplace to sell their products, both the Center staff and students have come up with innovative and creative ways to push through even during harsh times.
Through the help of the Center’s many funders, including the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation, YouthBiz altered program delivery to adjust to the new, socially-distant environment. YouthBiz workshops were moved online. YouthBiz also partnered with the Stay F.R.E.S.H Entrepreneur Program for the second summer in a row, offering an eight-week virtual session for teens ready to have their own business, thinking about starting a business, or are completely new to the entrepreneurial world. Additionally, Marketplace, a bi-annual event where youth can sell their products, moved to an e-commerce platform and saw sales comparable to that of an in-person Marketplace! These opportunities are not only summer highlights for Colorado’s youth, but can be the moment they find their passion for entrepreneurship.
The Center’s quick transition to online virtual offerings of programs such as YouthBiz was not done without hours upon hours of planning and hard work from the program and executive staff. Bill Daniels, the Center’s founder, was a proponent for excellence in the work one accomplishes. Holding true to his legacy, the Center staff made sure to produce high-quality, engaging, and impactful virtual experiences for the youth served. Without the help from funders like the Dresner Foundation, this work could not have been done, let alone at the quality it’s being delivered at.
On a mission to empower youth to create their own successful futures through real-life experiences and hands-on programs in entrepreneurship. Thank you, Dresner Foundation, for making this training in entrepreneurship possible through even the toughest of times.