On December 5th, Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) co-hosted an entrepreneurship studies webinar with Jeremy Wickenheiser. Jeremy has years of experience providing opportunities for youth to prepare for the modern workforce through experiential learning with his entrepreneurship studies (E-Ship) programming.
The webinar started out with setting the basis of the value experiential learning brings, especially in the modern workforce where many people have college degrees. College graduates have a hard time finding jobs since employers are looking for people with skills and experience outside of a classroom. The entrepreneurship studies program equips youth while they are still in middle school and high school to confidently face the various situations that arise outside of a classroom.
Important questions and learning transpire through the program which include the deeper understanding of who the person is, what talents and gifts they bring, and seeing how they will create impact. The problem solving, and opportunity to deal with real world situations at a young age encourages the youth to understand their place, and where they come from. The work focuses around the question of “what problems do you want to solve?” instead of “what career do you want?”.
Through the experiential learning opportunities youth were able to problem solve, present ideas to local business leaders, gain feedback from businesses, conduct interviews of customers, and gain mentoring. The skills gained teach youth resilience, and how to overcome failure. The entrepreneurship studies program can be curated depending on what works best for the area one is working in, which may include an after-school program, weekend event, or a summer intensive program.
Jeremy has experience and first-hand knowledge of successfully leading these types of youth programs and is a great resource for anyone interested in starting one. The programs give young people the tools to do what they want to do and support the thoughts and genius they have within themselves.
Questions and Answers
- How does one go about starting a first weekend, and getting the ball rolling on these types of programs? There are many different ways to do this, which could include going around to some schools, or to a single school and show video clips which show the programs and opportunities young people have had. Have a well-known entrepreneur come in and talk about the potentials and values a program like this would bring. Hold a weekend event and have youth on teams where they bring their own ideas and have to pitch the ideas to business leaders from the community. Have different informational sessions throughout the weekend to further support the pitch section of the event.
- Do you charge the students any sort of fee for attending the event? The events are always free for the students. The only cost would be the time, food, and venue.
These resources further show the Entrepreneurship Studies (E-Ship) programs: