I spent the evening tonight with a group of incredible philanthropic givers with a heart toward the area of education in Utah and dear friends of my husband and I’s so we could talk about how we can expand an incredible program called Youth Entrepreneurs throughout Utah’s High Schools as well as the Universities Entrepreneurship programs throughout the State.
If you aren’t familiar with Youth Entrepreneurs it’s a program that partners with existing High School teachers and gives them the training and tools and curriculum that lets them teach entrepreneurial skills in the most amazing, engaging, and just plain FUN ways to students.
There are SO MANY THINGS about this program that I love, not the least of which is the fact that they teach entrepreneurial and business skills in a way that isn’t intimidating at all – they simplify every principle being taught and tie it to things the student can relate to – like using peanut butter cups to teach the law of diminishing returns, or using paper airplane competitions to teach logistics management, negotiation skills, teamwork, and so on. They structure it so students do a hands-on activity and then immediately after the teacher walks them through all the principles they just learned without even realizing they were learning them. The program takes complex economic and financial lessons and makes them simple, relatable, and relevant to the students – and the students are having a blast as they learn it. The end result is that students not only gain knowledge but they also feel more confidence in themselves and their own abilities. In addition it helps increase the student’s interest in all their other classes, like math and economics and such, because now they are able to see how those things are actually going to be helpful in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
These days there are so many young people struggling with their self-worth. Students think they aren’t smart enough when they don’t get something they read in textbook or see written on a chalkboard – they see themselves as the problem. But they aren’t the problem at all – the problem lies in how the information is being taught to them. It takes finding things the students can easily relate to and then tying those things to the principles you are trying to teach and then allowing students to apply what they’ve just learned. And Youth Entrepreneurs does that masterfully, which is why I am such a fan.
If anyone reading this is interested in getting involved as either a donor who wants Youth Entrepreneurs in a High School in your area or is a High School teacher who would love to go through YE’s training and be able to receive the supplies and funding to teach YE in your school, I’m happy to help you connect with their leadership team.
I so love helping really good people doing really good things – and Youth Entrepreneurs fits that bill – it is run by really good people who are hardworking, humble, and appreciative of every donor – and their program is doing really good things that change the lives of every young person who experiences it. #whatawesomelookslike
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )