Girls learn about entrepreneurship at Inspiring Minds summer camp
By Denise Dick
Treona Crenshaw, 15, has participated for two years in Inspiring Minds Summer Camp and says it’s been time well spent.
“They show us the world,” Treona, a sophomore at Warren G. Harding High School, said. “I’ve seen things I’ve never seen before and probably wouldn’t get to see” without the program.
Friday, Treona and 25 other young women at the camp learned how to make a business plan, pitch it to potential investors and develop a website for it.
The Youngstown Business Incubator received a $5,000 grant from the AT&T Aspire program to introduce entrepreneurial principles and science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts to the girls in Inspiring Minds Summer Camp.
The girls range in age from 14 to 18.
“We’re focusing on introducing young girls to entrepreneurship,” said Stephanie Gilchrist, director of YBI’s Women in Entrepreneurship.
Friday began with the girls, divided into teams, coming up with ideas for their own businesses.
Each business had to give back to the community in some way.
“They did a phenomenal job,” Gilchrist said.
Nydia Bailey, 14, a freshman at Warren’s John F. Kennedy High School, and her partner pitched Naturals for a Cure.
It’s a line of natural hair-care products.
“Ten percent of the profits go to kids with cancer who can’t afford the treatment,” Nydia said.
Gwenasia Gadsden, who graduated in May with a degree in graphic design from Youngstown State University, directed the girls in developing each aspect of their business websites.
For her business, Lariah Coker, 13, a freshman at Harding, came up with a snack shop.
She said she’s learning a lot and having fun in the Inspiring Minds program.
“We go someplace every day,” Lariah said.
Ma’Kenzie Warfield, 16, a junior at Harding, and Kaia Toles, 14, a Harding freshman, sat Friday morning inside the meeting room at the Raymond John Wean Foundation, talking about their week.
They visited a mobile dental facility and learned about the different careers in the dental field.
Ma’Kenzie dubbed her webpage “Princess Pebbs.” Pebbles is her nickname.
“I just put ‘Princess’ because, well, I’m a princess,” she said, smiling.
She’s considering a career in the health industry.
Gilchrist said Friday’s session allowed YBI to introduce the participants to entrepreneurship at a young age.
“Entrepreneurship is crucial for our community,” she said.