Each year, YEScarolina partners with local sponsors to host an After School Biz Camp at various middle schools throughout the lowcountry. The class is free of charge, and allows students of various socioeconomic backgrounds to learn valuable life skills through entrepreneurship. For 10 weeks throughout the school year, students meet three times a week and are challenged to develop a business idea into a plan they can pitch at the final ceremony.
This year, with the help of the TD Bank Charitable Foundation and 21st Century, five students completed the program, having successfully pitched their ideas at the Final Ceremony on Thursday, April 6th. YEScarolina’s VP of Programs Molly Crete said, “Teaching students at Simmons-Pinckney Middle School was such a rewarding experience. Many of the students we reached had never thought about owning their own business until Erin and I introduced the concepts. These are all very bright kids, and I look forward to seeing them thrive in their futures!”
Beyond providing students an outlet to be creative through learning about business, the After School Biz Camp also works to empower students to present their ideas confidently. Teachers work with each child to ensure they’re equipped with the tools and encouragement they need to succeed. One parent told us she was “shocked” to see her child speak with such confidence at the final ceremony as her child has had a speech impediment since before Kindergarten and was always “self-conscious of it.” He always backs out at different occasions because he hasn’t wanted to speak in front of anyone. “To see him be the first to stand up and give his pitch made me so proud.” Biz Camp teacher Erin Markert also observed the students’ growing confidence in embracing the challenge, and said it was “exciting to watch the students recognize the value in their own ideas.”
Thank you to Jenell Ford & Sheila Grier of 21st Century for helping to orchestrate the program, to Principal Nathan Nelson for allowing us to host the camp at Simmons-Pinckney Middle School, and congratulations to all the students!
What were the ideas?
A handyman / maintenance business, presented by Brian
A mobile app that helps young students with reading and comprehension, presented by Anastasia
A chorus tutoring business, presented by De’Angelo
A smoothie business, presented by Anthony
A bracelet company, developed by Santashia