Over the final weekend of March 2016, our Youth Enrichment Policy Project participants took part in an exercise in which they took an entrepreneurial approach to solving problems in their communities. The crash course in entrepreneurialism — a compressed, 5-hour version of a course of training which is commonly reserved for high-tech startup companies and their founders — taught the students about how to identify a problem, how to research possible solutions, how to stay focused on one aspect of a problem and how to take ideas and present them in an easily shareable slideshow and “elevator pitch” (short presentation that you may only have 2 or 3 minutes to give).

The students selected the topics that they would research. The first team focused on how family relationships tie young people to gangs:

The second team focused on how youth in the community are taken advantage of when it comes to a lack of understanding and education about child labor laws:

The third team focused on truancy and its causes:

In each case, the teams performed a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Obstacles and Threats) of their ideas for solutions and gave a presentation to a small audience. We look forward to expanding upon this work in the future!