Six months ago, I had a big idea to start a summer program for underresourced, underprivileged, urban middle and high school students focused on entrepreneurship, environmental conservation, personal leadership, and community service. I titled it
GENERATION2050. Some people were skeptical when I described the program concept to them. Some even wondered out loud if the program was too ambitious and too intense for youth I was targeting. Their skepticism made me more determined to find a way for my idea to come to life this summer.
With the help of some good friends, collaborative partners, and funding from The Children’s Trust, GENERATION2050 began on June 5, 2017 with a cohort of 50 middle and high school students. Over the last two weeks, GENERATION2050 youth have been gaining skills in:
1. Entrepreneurship. GENERATION2050 youth are learning entrepreneurship skills and developing their own business plan utilizing The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s curriculum.
2. Self-Leadership. GENERATION2050 youth are learning how to avoid at-risk behaviors that could endanger their health and their future plans from PlanBe__ program staff.
3. Urban Gardening/Urban Beekeeping. They have been learning the basic biology and chemistry behind urban gardening and urban beekeeping, and how our actions are intersecting with global environmental conservation efforts. They have also been enjoying putting their learning into practice in Trinity Church’s Urban Garden.
4. Mindfulness. Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine NeighborhoodHELP program are teaching the students mindfulness practices to enhance their capacity to focus, as well as practice gratitude and compassion.
Have you ever had a very big, ambitious idea? I have learned every big, ambitious idea requires the support of leaders who will inspire and support you to bring the idea to life. Here are a few of my leader-friends who helped me bring GENERATION2050 to life:
(Photo credits: Deon Gedeon, Linda Freeman, and Michele Lozano, June 2017.)