Case: What our kids need is a safe environment where they can take part in constructive, educational activities and programs. That's exactly what the Legacy Associates Foundation program offers, and over the last couple of years we have seen a huge success in our efforts within the Michigan Educational School system. Unfortunately, however, too many children who need afterschool still don't have access to it. To make matters worse, many programs are being forced to cut services or hours (or even to close) due to budgetary shortfalls. Supplemental (during and after school) programs like the "Let's Start A Business" youth entrepreneur program keep kids safe, help them learn, motivate them to be successful in life and relieve parents of worries about what their children are doing during the sometimes perilous afternoon hours.
Purpose: The purpose of the Legacy Associates Foundation Entrepreneur and Business Skills program is to cleverly promote to students the process and benefits of initiating their own business entity. An average of 15-30 students per class are introduced to the core fundamentals of starting and managing an operational business. The specific objectives of the program are to:
Goal: The "Let's Start A Business" program simply seeks to align with the educational goals of the school and district, while providing a knowledge famework that enhances the overall learning process for students. Our kids and communities need these valuable supplemental programs and they need stakeholders to form partnerships to enable our youth to prosper and as supplemental programs face budgetary cutbacks, they need all of us to stand up for them. Legacy Associates Foundation believes that in partnership, we can make a difference in our community that will provide a life-long impact on our youth and our city.
Program Delivery: Students will attend weekly meetings, which will provide various forms of business formation and professional acumen. These valuable skills include opportunity recognition, negotiation tactics, bookkeeping, marketing and at the core, developing a business plan. In addition, students will participate in a closing ceremony, "Market Exposition" (opportunity for the marketing and selling of their products), to recognize their efforts and undestanding of the curriculum. The use of a creative balance of traditional curriculum and real-life applications will be provided in an effort to clearly convey what is needed to obtain and develop a business plan. With each business meeting, students will be engaged in a variety of teaching methodologies, multimedia learning activities, discussion groups and lectures. One of the unique differentiators of this program, when compared with others, is the fact that we provide the start-up cost for the students' business. This facet of the program motivates students to continuously put their best efforts forward. Thus far, Legacy Associates Foundation has reached almost 1,000 students in the Southeast Michigan (primarilty the metro Detroit area) with our program in schools such as Macomb Elementary, Mann Elementary, White Elementary, B.E.S.T Academy, Birney Elementary, Berry Elementary, Ella Fitzgerald Elementary, Westside Academy, Ecorse High School, Henry Ford High School, Mumford High School, Cass Technical High School and The Detroit Lions Academy. Furthermore, we look forward to deploying our program to many, many more schools and students who can benefit.
Legacy Members (Caleb Rutledge, left, and Paul Riser, right) with youth entrepreneurs from Macomb Elementary School in Detroit