If you only pay attention to mainstream media outlets, you will only get a distorted, narrow, and negative image of young people from urban communities. This powerful story of Taharka Bros. Ice Cream in Baltimore is a great example of young leaders from an urban community turning their passion and concern into positive action that will not only benefit themselves but others also. What excites me even more about this story is the entrepreneurial creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance they demonstrated to bring into reality their dream of impacting their community through ice cream. I hope this inspires you...
If you're the parent of a teen or serve in youth ministry, it would wise to pay more attention to how much time they are spending on social media. A new Ottawa Public Health study suggests that teens who use social media sites for two hours or more daily are at risk for poor mental health, psychological distress and suicidal thoughts. According to a Huffington Post article reporting on the study:
Helping youth develop face to face communication skills is essential to preparing them to have healthy personal and professional relationships as adults. If we allow social media to babysit teens unattended it could have major negative consequences over time.
Finish reading the whole story here: http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2015/07/28/study-frequent-social-media-use-may-take-toll-on-teens-mental-health/
If you're a parent or a teacher you already know that teenagers think much differently than you do. However, sometimes it's hard to understand why. Well here is a an excellent graphical explanation that will help you understand why teenagers think and behave differently than adults, and it's based on the developmental process of the brain (and not just some insatiable desire to be rebellious :-).
If you have been working in ministry or the community for any amount of time it is not uncommon for God to work in ways that are not necessarily mysterious, but are definitely unexpected. Recently, I was facilitating a youth business training with Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program for a group of at-risk youth in Atlanta.
I had my lesson plan laid out to teach them how to start a purpose driven business. However, I found as I was going through my curriculum, it was not connecting with them. I tried different "trainer techniques" to get them to engage, but nothing seemed to work.
It wasn't until I started focusing more on asking them questions than teaching content did I start to make a connection. I began inquiring about the problems they saw in their communities and the causes they believed were the culprits.
The energy in the room skyrocketed when I became the student and I opened myself to be taught by them. At that moment I had two choices: 1) stick to what I had planned to teach them, or 2) become a sponge so that I could better determine how best to reach them based on what they were facing. Fortunately, I chose the latter.
So what began as a youth entrepreneurship training became a millennial focus group for community transformation. It was very revealing what they saw as the issues and causes in their own communities, as well as some of the potential solutions. The top 4 issues they listed were:
That's why we need more Joshua's to lead the younger generation to their promise land. Sometimes it's easy for adults to talk at or over teenagers without really talking to them to hear their perspectives. With the complex issues that we are facing our communities these days, it behooves all of us to seek wisdom from whatever source God may bring it.
You can learn more about how Kinsman Community Ministries is working with youth to transform their communities through social enterprises at www.mykinsman.org/youth.
Success in business can come from anywhere and through anyone, but it seems extra special when the story is about a teenager who has defied the odds. Thirteen-year-old Moziah Bridges, CEO of Mo's Bows, has defied the odds that many adult entrepreneurs have succumb to. His company, which handcrafts his personally designed bow ties, has 5 employees and produced $200,000 in sales. Moziah says the motivation behind his passion is:
One thing I really appreciate about him is that he has a big heart to give back to others. He made a special bow tie called the "Go Mo! Scholarship Bow Tie" with 100% of the proceeds going to help underprivileged kids from his hometown of Memphis go to summer camp. He did this because he feels like it’s good business to help the community. He is definitely creating his impact.
This is the type of young person we envision inspiring and supporting through our Kinsman Youth Entrepreneurship Programs. Hopefully we'll have the chance to mentor the next Moziah Bridges.
Read more about Moziah at: http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/07/10/13-year-old-ceo-200000-sales/
When we assess a community's struggle with generational poverty, we must not overlook the role played by young people in help break destructive cycles and create positive ones. Some key ares we need to focus on to equip at-risk youth to make significant economic progress include financial literacy, youth employment, and youth entrepreneurship. That's why I was so excited when I read about Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina, which opened a bank run by its students. According to WUNC North Carolina Public Radio:
This is an incredibly innovative move by Hillside H.S. and Woodforest Bank to bring economic solutions to a community that needs more access to economic resources and tools to empower itself. Hopefully more banks and schools across the country will follow their lead to help challenged communities creates cycles of prosperity.
Read the entire article here: http://wunc.org/post/durham-ncs-hillside-high-school-first-open-bank
Tim Elmore, one of the foremost experts in youth development, has written a powerful article, Seven Shifts as Generation Z Becomes Generation Y. In this article he explains what's happening with the "next" generation of kids as they morph into adulthood, and shift away from old realities into new ones. Here are a few of his points...
These are some great points for those who want to understand and serve those in the millennial generation.
Read the entire article at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/seven-shifts-as-generation-y-becomes-generation-z
Our Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp is only a few days away! We're so excited about the opportunity to pour into the lives of young people with the skills of learning how to start and grow their own social entrepreneurship business. During my nearly 10 years as a full-time entrepreneur one of the things that I have grown to appreciate are the transferable principles that I gained as a full-time employee. A few of these principles include preparation, time management, relationship building, work excellence, professionalism, and more are critical to your success as an entrepreneur or an employee.
One of the curriculum we are using for our entrepreneurship camp is the first book I wrote, Dream B.I.G. in 3D. This book is targeted to young leaders who searching for their dream job or career path. The principles contained in this book are just as important for job seekers as they are for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Here are 9 ways that Dream B.I.G. in 3D can help you score your dream job (or business)…
I like to say that this book will take you on an internal treasure hunt to connect your career path with your purpose. Click here to start your journey...
As our time draws closer for the start of the Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp and our preparation intensifies, sometimes it's hard to remember why we do what we do. As we go through the checklist of all things that need to get done (and it's a long list), at times we forget that we have a real opportunity to save a kid's life or help somebody to start a new one.
This camp is more than just a time to keep kids busy and out of their parent's hair. We are creating an environment where dreams are jumpstarted, ideas are catalyzed, and purpose is ignited. For many of these kids they don't have anyone in their lives telling them they can be the next great inventor, entrepreneur, or community leader. They don't have people giving them tools for life success and a means to break the generational poverty that plagues their families.
When people use the term "at-risk", often it's assigned to kids who live in violent neighborhoods, come from challenging circumstances, and are in danger of falling victim to their difficult surroundings. I believe, though, that there are much more "at-risk" kids than those who live in these environments, because too many others are in danger of living life without purpose, not discovering the greatness that's inside of them, or never achieving a sense of fulfillment from having accomplished something beyond anything they could imagine.
That's why this camp is so much bigger than just helping these kids start a business. It's so much greater than just helping them launch a new product or service. It's far beyond teaching them how to market to a new customer base.
This experience is about helping them utilize their God-inspired imagination, discover unique abilities, and release unbridled creativity to manifest His image in their lives and the world. This opportunity is about helping them tap into their God-given potential to see things in themselves they have never seen before. This is a chance to assist them with taking significant steps toward achieving their God-given destiny.
Your financial support of Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp will provide the opportunity for our youth to dream again, to believe that they have more to live for than just making it past today, or acquiring things that only provide temporary pleasure. You are funding seeds of greatness. You are investing in the restoration of hopes and dreams.
Your donation is bigger than business. Thank you for your support.
A satisfied customer is the best form of marketing. So listen to Soraya's testimonial about her experience at last year's Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp. We still have business sponsorships available for you to make a tax-deductible contribution to invest in the lives of at-risk youth, so they can build social entrepreneurship, leadership, and team building skills, among many other things...
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