Young Entrepreneurs Shop Till They Drop
They’re crowding the checkout aisles with their carts stuffed with goodies, but they aren’t your typical holiday shoppers. These are E CITY students purchasing the raw materials that they will turn into their business ventures. Throughout November and December, E CITY students from all seven participating schools are heading to stores to begin building their entrepreneurial enterprises. Through the E CITY program, youth learn business acumen, financial capability, and entrepreneurship skills. During these shopping trips, students learn to manage budgets and balance what they want versus what they need to be successful. While some students wandered the aisles looking for inspiration, John F. Kennedy student Niyah Willis knew precisely what she needed to get her candy apple business up and running. “Sometimes, I crave a candy apple, but you can only get them through the fall,” Niyah explains. “I decided to create my own. And I have three flavors in addition to the traditional candy apples. Now, I just need to package them, and that’s what I’m looking for today.” With her cart full of ribbons, pointed bamboo sticks, and flat-bottomed cellophane bags, Niyah says she’s ready to start building her business and sees E CITY as a training groundContinue Reading
Y.O.U.'s Longtime Leader to Retire in April
After over 20 years as President and CEO of Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Carol Rivchun will retire from the organization in April. Craig Dorn, who currently serves as Y.O.U.’s senior vice president, will succeed her. Under Carol’s leadership, Y.O.U.’s visibility grew, the staff nearly doubled, school-based initiatives have spread to more classrooms and counties than ever before, services and program offerings expanded to include young adults 18–24, and the Y.O.U. budget increased from $2.5 million to $15 million. Carol’s signature achievements at Y.O.U. include mergers with two nonprofits: Jobs for Ohio’s graduates, a drop-out prevention program with an emphasis on career development and leadership skills, and E CITY, an award-winning curriculum that teaches young people entrepreneurship skills. “Carol is a tireless warrior and respected leader for Cleveland’s nonprofit community,” says Deborah Vesy, President and CEO of Deaconess Foundation. “I will always admire and have a tremendous amount respect for her relentless and passionate pursuit to make a difference. She is a champion for our community’s youth and a visionary in developing programs to ensure that even the most disadvantaged succeed.” Craig Dorn has been with Y.O.U. for 28 years, starting as a frontline career coach at James Ford Rhodes High School.Continue Reading
E CITY Boot Camp Gives Students a Crash Course in Business
Pictured: E CITY student Kerubo Isanda interviews with Michael Jorde, from UnitedHealth Group, in the mock interview workshop at the E CITY Boot Camp at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. It was mission critical for the more than 70 students who participated in Y.O.U.’s annual E CITY Boot Camp at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland on November 3rd. Students from Horizon Science Academy, Lincoln West Global Studies, Shaw, Thomas W. Harvey, John F. Kennedy, John Adams, and Glenville high schools attended the intensive one-day event. Boot Camp, a significant part of the E CITY curriculum, reinforces the skills youth have been learning and increases the overall effectiveness of Y.O.U.’s entrepreneurship education program. Workshops facilitated by Y.O.U. staff, Federal Reserve employees, and business volunteers included job interviewing, resume writing, and entrepreneurial pitch and presentation tactics. Participants also had the opportunity to tour the Federal Reserve Bank. Best of all, many students developed a new appreciation for small businesses. “I didn’t expect to hear about how business can help out communities,” Lincoln West Global Studies freshman Rashon Pique explains. “There are people who need things in my community. I think it’s the best place to start. Then once I’m successful, I can growContinue Reading
Announcing Y.O.U. Young Professionals Organization
Pictured: The Young Professionals Organization of Y.O.U. held its first mixer in November. Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) is proud to announce the formation of its new Young Professional Organization (YPO). Meghan Marano, a longtime volunteer for Y.O.U, founded the YPO with the goal of educating and attracting young professionals to increase Y.O.U.’s mission and volunteer opportunities. The YPO Leadership Council held its inaugural event at Jukebox in Cleveland and is planning a second event in January. "The YPO soft launch event was more then we could have imagined," Marano says. "It was a great experience to meet young professionals from so many different industries with one thought in common, supporting Y.O.U. and the mission to help better Cleveland youth. The YPO Leadership Committee is already excited and eager to plan our next event!” A Facebook account for the YPO is available here. If interested in joining the YPO, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The YPO’s Mission? Increase awareness and community engagement for Youth Opportunities Unlimited.Continue Reading
From Participants to Ambassadors: Two Friends Reflect on Their Pasts and Futures with Y.O.U.
Y.O.U. may be new to some at Lorain High School, but not Principal Robin Hopkins and building substitute Sharlyna McQueen. These lifelong friends are former Y.O.U. participants and both are excited to show the Lorain High School community the positive impact Y.O.U. programs have on youth. “JOG is such a great opportunity for the students. The experience gained is invaluable," explains Ms. McQueen. "This program is a great stepping stone into the workforce for the student who may not be ready for college. It enhances their resumes and opens up a whole new world for them." Principal Hopkins echoed Ms. McQueen’s sentiment at the Lorain High School Welcome Celebration, noting that the fundamentals learned through Y.O.U. programs, such as soft-skills, interview techniques, and financial responsibility, will help students better navigate the business world and become successful. The Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates (JOG) program serves students at the highest risk of dropping out and focuses on career development, employability, life and leadership skills. This is the first year the program is being offered at Lorain High School.Continue Reading
Summer Jobs Participants Prepare for the Future
Summer is over according to the calendar, but not at Y.O.U. This year Y.O.U. focused on ensuring young adults 18-24 years-old who participated in the summer jobs program had an opportunity to receive additional training while exploring potential training for their career development. Over 500 young adults went through a one-week training and 325 selected a training provider for career pathway training with our Day One program or one of our partner organizations like El Barrio, Ohio Guidestone, Towards Employment and Tri-C. Upon entering a career pathway training program, young adults participate in a Job Readiness Training (JRT) program. The JRT is a two-week intensive preparatory course that reviews soft skills, resume writing, interview skills, and the importance of proper business attire. For JRT participant Daniella Seguin, the experience was both valuable and fun. “It was great. The trainer, Joe (Criniti), was very well informed and confident. He was also very patient. I had a really good time and learned a lot. I would recommend other people take a JRT course. It’s not easy, you have to work at it, but it helped me.” Once the JRT course is complete, participants enter specialized training to earn an industry-recognized credential, anContinue Reading
Congratulations, Young Entrepreneurs!
Please join us in congratulating our two young entrepreneurs, Pablo Arredondo and Christian Padierna, on a job well done while presenting at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City. The Thomas W. Harvey students earned spots in the national competition after placing first and second in the E CITY Citywide Competition in May. Christian Padierna, CEO of CP's Chimichurri, presented during round one of the competition but was unable to advance further. Pablo Arredondo, CEO of Whisker Wear, made it through round one but wasn't able to advance out of round two. Whisker Wear and CP's Chimichurri don't need a national title to be successful. Christian and Pablo have been able to take what they've learned in the classroom and apply to the business world as they each continue to sell their products to adoring audiences.Continue Reading
JOG and E CITY Journeys Begin For Students
With the program pledge sworn (see the video), the more than 200 members of the 2017-18 JOG and E CITY classes officially began their 9-month journeys of professional growth and development. At Welcome Celebrations across three counties and 13 schools, students embarked upon Y.O.U. programs geared at employment success. The JOG program, which is particularly aimed at students with the highest risk of dropping out, focuses on career development, employability, life and leadership skills, while the E CITY program focuses on entrepreneurship skills, business management, and financial literacy. Although the primary focus of each program is slightly different, both programs work to ensure participants are well prepared for post-secondary success; education, employment, or the military. For three schools - CMSD's Washington Park High School, and Lorain and Oberlin high schools in Lorain County - this was the first year of Welcome Celebrations. In Lorain, Career Coach Susan Palmentera-Wordell says she’s looking forward to bringing the JOG program to students at Oberlin High School. “Oberlin is an amazing city with rich social, academic, and artistic history. I expect to not only teach the Oberlin High School students about how to be better prepared for their academic and employment futures but alsoContinue Reading
Y.O.U. Needs Your Help with the Online Elevator Pitch Challenge
Every year the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship holds a contest called the Online Elevator Pitch Challenge. This year, Y.O.U. has 2 teens from our E CITY program competing and they need your help. Each student participating in the 2017 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge has created a 60-second pitch promoting his or her business. Y.O.U.’s Christian Padierna, founder of CP Chimichurri and Pablo Arrendando, creator of Whisker Wear are working the market hard and need your support. Not only are their business plans sound...but their pitches are off the charts. Watch the Whisker Wear commercials here and the CP's Chimichurri commercial here. Now that you’ve watched both Christian and Pablo, it is your turn to weigh in and vote from as many different places as possible. Unlike most competitions, it’s not the most votes who wins, but the entrepreneur whose business pitch gets the most unique votes. So place your selection from as many different devices as you can: computer, phone, IPad, you name it! The winner will be awarded $2500 so your participation is crucial! From now until October 10, visit www.nfte.com/events/elevator-pitch-2017 to vote. Thank you for making your vote count!Continue Reading
The Seventh Annual Austin Carr Celebrity Golf Invitational is One For the Books!
With more celebrities, golfers, and money raised than ever before, the 2017 Austin Carr Celebrity Golf Invitational was the largest and most successful golf outing in its seven-year history. This year, 24 foursomes plus celebrities hit the links at the Beechmont Country Club to support Y.O.U. programs. The golfers hailed from many Cleveland-area businesses, many of which sponsored the event. The scramble started with a greeting from Austin Carr welcoming golfers, wishing each luck, and thanking them for being a key part of Y.O.U.’s mission of helping teens and young adults succeed by providing educational and workforce opportunities, skills development, and access to career pathways. Y.O.U thanks each of the golfers, celebrities, and volunteers who participated - your support is integral to the success of the outing. A special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor Medical Mutual; Tournament Sponsors: First National Bank, PNC, Mont Surfaces, Robert Half, Lewis Brisbois, Dollar Bank, Wells Fargo, and Huntington; Course Sponsor: Alliance Solutions Group; Eagle Sponsors: Vantage Financial, Stellar Benefits, Plante Moran, On Partners, JPMorgan Chase, Fredon, Fox Sports Ohio, Federal Process Corporation, Great Lakes Financial Group, Cleveland Indians, and Cleveland Cavaliers; and Birdie Sponsors: Mutual of America Life Insurance Company, Independence Excavating, and CJRContinue Reading