Our mission is to create the next generation of financially literate entrepreneurs through educational training, professional guidance, and long-term mentoring.
Our three immediate and long term goals:
We have three immediate goals and long-term goals that are designed to enable our community and all neighboring communities the possibility to revitalize from within and to help break the cycle of violence and loss of productivity that cost our taxpayers billions of dollars!!
Our first goal is to prepare each high school student to graduate with a “success map” which provides a clear path with the proper characteristics and mannerisms that are required for obtaining a post secondary education or career preparation.
Our second goal is to change the mindset of students from a “needing”, dependent mentality to a “productive”, self-sufficient mentality by instilling an understanding of financial literacy that will allow them to know what monetary gains are needed to obtain independence.
In addition, our third goal is to provide a stable foundation of learned knowledge combined with instilled drive, motivation, and support for students to fall back on and access as they develop and mature in life. We have a long-term mentoring base that the students can access for guidance and resources from the age of 15 until and throughout 40, which will be their last year of support.
Moreover, our three long-term outcomes are as follows:
First is to teach youth and adults the correct fundamentals of financial education and the entrepreneurial spirit in order to establish a desire inside each individual to want to succeed to their utmost potential.
Second, the desire is to create a new generation of youth that are responsible, engaged in learning and education, and have true aspirations of taking their place in a working society or create opportunities for others by becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Lastly, we plan to produce a more effective and reliable workforce that has an understanding of accountability and hierarchy, making a commitment to their employer, and displays integrity and leadership qualities.
- In a 2012 study, 25% to 41% of youth reported having been arrested or taken into custody for a non traffic offense by age 23
- 30% of Black and 22% White males have experienced at least one arrest by age 18
- 49% of Black and 38% White males have been arrested by age 23
- The percentage of school students carrying weapons was 17% in 2011
- In 2013, nearly 50% of students reported using illicit drugs other than marijuana
- In 2013, weekend binge drinking among eighth graders was 62%, 43% for tenth graders, and 30% for twelfth graders
- Crimes for ages 18-23 study – Robert Brome, Shawn Bushway, Ray Parternoster, and Michael Turner – prison statistics
- CDC – Youth gun violence fact sheet – gun statistics
- Monitoring the Future website – drug and alcohol statistics
Loss of Productivity
- Total losses in productivity due to crime and its effects cost society an estimated $1.7 trillion yearly
- According to the National Crime Survey (NCS; U.S. Department of Justice ) there were over 33.6 million victimizations in 2013. This yielded a total estimated loss of $7.1 billion in revenue earned
- Approximately 1.7 million “heavy” drug users often forsake the legitimate economy for the illicit drug trade or for careers in consensual (gambling and prostitution) or acquisitive (theft) crime, with losses of legitimate productivity of $19.2 billion
- Aggregate Burden of Crime study – David A. Anderson – economic loss statistics
- NCS – US Department of Justice – crimes cost statistics
We are a member of a network of businesses and community leaders who want to improve our community by promoting principles of knowledge, ethics, and the entrepreneurial spirit.
In addition to full time staff, we have two part-time facilitators, a financial literacy coordinator, and many volunteers from local educational institutions.
Our programming has been in operation since 2007.
Outcomes and Statistics
We trained the youth workers in the Summer JAM 2014 program where we saw a 95% success rate of workers that completed the program with the correct performance metrics further proving our curriculum and delivery methods. Not only was the Summer JAM 2014 program highly supported by the Erie County Council, Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, and Erie Community Foundation, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper stated that the program was one of the most successful things that we’ve seen in a summer in Erie in a long time. Feedback from the workers that participated in the program gave our training curriculum and methods positive feedback of 94%. Out of a possible score of 10, 90% of the workers scored our program with an 8(16%), 9(16%), or 10(54%).
We were brought back again to repeat our services for Summer JAM 2015 and our goal was to continue or increase last year’s results which we met with another statistic of 95% success rate of the program. Some of our larger area businesses joined the program by becoming a work site such as General Electric, Erie Insurance Exchange, Saint Vincent Health Center, and Gannon University. We finished the program and supervised 142 workers and serviced 41 employers throughout Erie County through maintaining relationships and addressing concerns.
Our program has received local letters of support from the Mayor, Erie County Executive, the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, Careerlink, Senator Wiley, Senator Toomey, and other elected officials and educators that have reviewed it.
Total population of participants:
Youth – 573
Adults – 177
Total unique incidents of service:
Youth – 503
Adults – 141
Total percentage of youth population
Girls – 48%
Boys – 52%
Total percentage in age groups measured in school grade levels
K-4 – 15%
5-8 – 25%
9-12 – 60%