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Like a Boss

By Chelsea Mayo

Financial Literacy through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming has expanded into the junior high level. In partnership with the Young American’s Center for Financial Education in Denver, BGCCW has introduced YouthBiz in Casper.  YouthBiz is described as a space for entrepreneurial thinking and action and was originally launched in Denver in 1992. In 2015, YouthBiz partnered with the Young American’s Center, the parent organization of Young AmeriTowne.

Two Youth Biz students present their product to a panel of judges. ©BGCCW2018

After receiving the curriculum from Young American’s, the Club began offering the program to middle school Club members last fall.  Students participated in 10 lessons that taught the basics of entrepreneurship, including understanding individual personality traits, budgeting and more. Participants learned what kinds of skills they have and how those skills are beneficial in a business setting as well as what skills other people may have and how to work with those people. They also learn simple budgeting, supply and demand, and competitive consumerism.

A Youth Biz students explains why her product is needed. ©BGCCW2018

The students were challenged to develop a product (solution) based upon something they saw as a “problem” with a culminating event of a “Shark Tank” presentation. They could work on the product from conception to completion in teams or as individuals.

In February, two final products were presented to a group of four judges from local businesses. Product #1 was bacon flavored french fries developed by Hayley and Jinnie. Product #2 was a container made of recycled water bottles to separate trail mix into ingredients based upon the likes of the consumer. It was developed by Ysabel. The Judges used two different evaluations to score the presentations.

Ysabel was chosen as the winner and received a $100 Visa Gift Card from Young American’s. The runners up won $25 each from a generous donor. The Teen Center plans to implement the curriculum again in the summer!

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