Our mission is to break the cycle of local poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial and environmental leaders. Our programs help youth identify their own natural gifts and talents and then teaching them how to monetize these skills and use them to start a small business. We guide students through a dynamic B.A.S.E. curriculum (Business, Art & STEM Experiences), to develop the personal qualities that predict future professional success.
In DC, petty crime is one of the leading causes of incarceration for young people ages 14-24 years old. Many of these arrest are consequences of individuals becoming involved in illegal and unsavory activities as a means to make money. Many of these young men and women feel trapped by poverty and lack any belief that they can actually be successful doing the right things. The goal of our programs are to show youth that they don’t have to do anything illegal, immoral or unethical to make money. Instead, they already possess everything they need to be successful and they just need to learn how to tap into their gifts. By helping young people see their own intrinsic value and teaching the value of hard work, we hope to inspire youth to dream big, to work hard and to use their talents achieve academic, professional and personal success.
We utilize entrepreneurship as a vehicle for youth to learn marketable STEAM skills (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Our goal is to inspire youth to acquire the educational skills and self-confidence needed to “put poverty out of business.”
Our goal is to provide youth with college experiences as early as possible. Through our programs youth can earn up to 12 college credits and receive individual guidance to propel each student to post-secondary education and career success.
Our program goal are as much about character development, as it is about entrepreneurship education. We hope to teach youth that not all money is created equal and to explore the moral and legal consequences of pursuing fast money.
Our ultimate goal for each student is that he or she is self-sufficient and has a career, not just a job. We focus on improving 21 century workforce skills: leadership ,development, resilience, self-confidence, teamwork & professionalism.
“The struggle is real ,
but so is the HUSTLE.”
tacharna crump| founder
Youth Entrepreneur Institute was founded in 2015 to address the historic lack of entrepreneurial services available to youth in DC. The effects of inner-city social turmoil which took place in the 1960’s and 70’s throughout the nation hit Ward 6, 7, and 8 community in DC very hard. Our neighborhood experienced unprecedented real estate abandonment and disinvestment as riots flared, buildings burned and drugs were rampant.
A diverse group of DC residents, workers, artists, educators, scientists, athletes, businesswomen and community activists organized in 2015 to address this obvious inequity. Soon thereafter Youth Entrepreneur Institute was founded.
Today, Youth Entrepreneur Institute continues to grow. Since 2015, we have served over 500 students and helped over 50 students start successful businesses. We are very proud of the progress we have made.
Two years ago, Youth Entrepreneur Institute didn’t exist. No staff, no programs, no building. And, quite frankly, no manual to follow on how to build an innovative and sustainable organization for budding youth entrepreneurs. After identifying this huge gap, we had a mission: start a place that provides business services for youth in their own backyard. We have consciously set out to create a new model of a communitygrassroot organization, creating a culture that values creativity and experimentation, while putting youth at the center of community development and revitalization. Our founding vision was a dual one: to reframe the field of youth development as a ‘whole community’ issue, and to construct a building to house that vision.
As a community-basedgrassroot we work to overcome the fragmentation of youth services through partnerships with other non-profit organizations that share our mission, with local businesses, academic institutions, faith-based communities, and with our members’ families. By creating a ‘whole-youth’ approach – emphasizing a broad range of cultural competencies needed for success – curiosity, poise, happiness, resiliency, health, college and job readiness – we use more than academic performance to benchmark our impact. Our programs are designed to create an integrated experience, where education (like life, in general) is not compartmentalized and all are welcome!
OUR STAFF & BOARD OF DIRECTORS
taCHARNA cRUMP, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Tacharna is the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Entrepreneur Institute. She started her first business at 15 years old and now at the age of 28 she is proud to have had more than 10 business ventures under her belt. She is passionate abouthelping other young people create their own economic power and become drivers in their community. She is a foodie, a geek and a creative that enjoys making things in my spare time.
Jackie Carter, board chair
Jackie Carter is currently the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization called Jah Kente. She has spent 2 years working in nonprofit management and implementation of theater programs East of the River. Jackie’s early career was spent in direct service delivery. In addition to her youth-facing work, she has designed, programmed, and driven policy for supported team-problem solving.
Damon is the owner of Inca Apparel At theage of 21 he and a group of friends opened a store called Big League Sports in northwest D.C. He later branched out and created his own clothing line,INCA TM with stores in Forrestville Mall and Iverson Mall in Maryland. He has over 15 years of experience in the garment industry and helped shaped the curriculum for the YEI’s ARTprentice program.