The Dr. Jacob Savage NFTE Youth Entrepreneurial Science Initiative at OB

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Southern New Hampshire University
Due to an era of City administrative neglect, Boston inner-city youth have been exposed to a variety of socio-economic barriers that have distracted them from competing within the local, national, and global economy. These distractions have been fueled by a lack of positive venues and a decline in the availability of educational resources and tools. As a result of these barriers the communities in which the youth reside lack viable businesses that contribute to a better quality of life and are plagued with high unemployment, record level crime waves and inadequate housing stock. In response to the local economy, Boston public high schools and local community organizations are working to include financial literacy and entrepreneurial training in the high school curriculums. The John D. O' Bryant School of Mathematics and Science (OB) is an ethnically diverse Boston Public exam school. It is located in Roxbury and combines the schools rich legacy of scientific expertise with the necessity of invention and business marketing. The school program uses youth individual development accounts coupled with civic involvement and mentoring. This is a joint project between the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Neighborhood Development Corporation of Grove Hall (NDCGH) and the John D. O' Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. It reestablished a class elective in entrepreneurship, developing a youth microenterprise program for 60-75 participants of the school over a two-year period. The school is located in an area targeted by the Neighborhood Development Corporation of Grove Hall. The NDCGH currently works with local businesses and will use this pool of business owners to mentor the youth selected for the program. Each participant will go through an entrepreneurship-based class and 15 students will be selected to further participate in a small business development-training program coordinated with the NDC. The evaluation will use the following measures: (a) whether the 60-75 participants attend classes and develop a business plan (b) whether 15 students complete the after school program over a two year period (b) whether the after school participants start businesses that make money or survive the first year of the program; (c) increased participation in local community affairs as measured by participation in the community organizing component of the program. (Author abstract)