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BIG Partners with Youth Career Camp for 2018 Youth Entrepreneurship Program

The Business Innovation Group partnered with Wayne Williams’ Youth Career Camp this July to host a week-long summer camp called the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) to teach youth useful career skills along with what it takes to start a business.

Rev. Wayne Williams founded Youth Career Camp Inc. (YCCI) in 2006 as a free youth event for teens in high school, exclusively supported by the NAACP. The mission of YCCI is to help build strong communities by providing workforce development, career pathway exposure, mentorship and supervised community engagement for youth; help prepare them for post-secondary education; help youth set attainable goals and make sound decisions for their future; and to provide a safe, secure and caring environment to facilitate successful youth development.

Rev. Williams said, “This was the first collaborative effort between YEP and YCCI, and it was very successful. Joining together just made perfect sense… Together YEP-YCCI conducted a unique comprehensive residential workforce readiness, career exploration and entrepreneurship immersion camp.”

Rev. Williams recruited 12 young people from around the area who came to stay in Georgia Southern’s Eagle Village dorms from June 6 – 11. The participants learned how to form business ideas on Monday afternoon, followed by icebreakers and leadership on the CRI ropes course on campus.

“The youth learned the value of working together through fun and very challenging outdoor activities; they became better strategists and problem solvers. Through this intense two-week live-in agenda, they learned an assortment of life skills to improve and maintain good personal and professional lifestyles.” Rev. Williams continued, “Local chefs volunteered to teach them vital cooking skills, which they put into practice during the program.”

Participants visited the Department of Labor for the career skills assessment, toured Ogeechee Technical College to learn about their workforce development programs, toured local industry WL Plastics, visited the Office of Career and Professional Development at Georgia Southern, participated in physical training with soldiers at Fort Stewart, and got some air time at WTOC in Savannah.

Between all of the tours and visits, students were learning the ins and outs of starting a business. They conducted local research, learned the basics of 3D modeling and prototyping, and produced their own slide decks and elevator pitches.

A banquet was held on Monday, June 11, in which students pitched the businesses they worked on all week to a panel of judges and their families. Following the pitches, all participants received certificates of completion, and two students received high honors for being camp leaders. Congratulations to Joshua Johnson and Jadaya Alston for their leadership and to all participants for completing the YCCI-YEP program.

Rev. Williams also took the students on a trip to Texas later in the week, where they visited AT&T Stadium in Dallas, the new state of the art Toyota Manufacturer’s Headquarters, Six Flags Over Texas and Space Center in Houston.

Special thanks to all who helped make this possible through sponsorships, donations and volunteering! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Bi-Lo, Archie Simpson, Boro Takeout Express, Chef Stephen Minton, Crider Foods, Chic-Fil-A, Subway, Seni Alabi-Isama and The Smoque Pit, John Witherington, WTOC, Primos, Fort Stewart 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Curtis Williams, The Clubhouse, the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art for the Betty Bus, Gregory Thomas, Pita Pit, Donnie and Angela Alston, Spirit and Truth Worship Center.


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