Combining the expertise of teachers and volunteer mentors from the business community and the University of Miami Law school, the first six months of the Empowered Youth (EY) Program are dedicated to teaching life skills and building character as a dropout prevention and academic performance improvement for students at-risk of failing, quitting school, ending up in prison or dead in the streets.
During the second six months the youth attend business classes at the University of Miami School of Business to learn how to complete a business plan and to inspire them to grow to see themselves as entrepreneurs. To develop business experience, students are paid a stipend as they work in one of the EY businesses: an urban apparel line called EY Street Wear and a restaurant /food truck incubator program called Vibe 305. The EY program serves 70 youth a year at an average cost of $2,456 per youth. Of the 200 students who have completed the program, 87% have not re-entered the juvenile justice system and are considered entrepreneurs or hold meaningful jobs. The goal is to increase the number of at-risk youth in the program to 100 per year and still maintain the same excellent results.
The Empowered Youth Program is offered to at-risk, not adjudicated, youth from Liberty City and Miami Gardens who are referred to the program by the juvenile courts. We are requesting funding to help continue the progress EY has made as they continue to seek funding for expansion.