(Baton Rouge) – Participants in Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation’s College & Career Ready IGNITE entrepreneurship summer and afterschool program recently demonstrated their passion and skills in tackling important social issues during Student Impactathon®, which was presented by Innov8Social in partnership with The Eric Reid Foundation.
In addition to gaining inspiration from respected social entrepreneurs, UREC’s College & Career Ready IGNITE participants engaged in a business pitch competition where they proposed solution-driven social enterprises in areas such as education, mental illness and law enforcement training. The overall experience incorporated training, tools and content from Innov8Social, which works to make social entrepreneurship and impact leadership more accessible and actionable.
At the event’s culmination, the Eric Reid Foundation made a surprise announcement that it was granting $500 scholarships to each youth in attendance, totaling $15,000 in awards.
Nineteen of UREC’s College & Career Reaedy IGNITE participants are among the recipients: Robert Baham; Ja’Myia Banks; Taylor Brown; Bre’Lyn Calhoun; Bridget Calhoun; Koran Duncan; Jaylon Greening; Kyra Griffin; Kyndall Johnson; Marquon Johnson; Devin Lloyd; Roderick Mason Jr.; Joseph Delaney-Mcallister; Khloé McFadden; Lotachukwu “Ada” Orimma; Nia Pitts; Arianna Pooler; LaDainia Sparks; and Aliyah Wilcox.
“I made my name as an athlete, but my life’s work is to empower and support young leaders and to uplift organizations like UREC that are making a real difference in the community,” Reid said.
“UREC appreciates the educational and practical experience Innov8Social and The Eric Reid Foundation brought to Baton Rouge youth during the Student Impactathon®. Our College & Career Ready IGNITE participants were inspired to rise up as community leaders,” said Emel Alexander, President and CEO of UREC. “We are also grateful to the foundation for its generosity, which demonstrates the social entrepreneurship it promotes.”
Entrepreneurship rests at the core of UREC’s College & Career Ready IGNITE Fellowship. IGNITE is an interactive summer and after-school initiative that prepares high school students to create the jobs of tomorrow through entrepreneurship training, college and career readiness and ACT Prep. The program’s partnership with Southern University’s College of Business ensures Baton Rouge youth are exposed to opportunities that reinforce these core values.
During Student Impactathon®, participants gained inspiration and insight from activist, NFL star and Baton Rouge native Eric Reid, Neetal Parekh, founder of Innov8Social, Jessica Byrd, founder of Three Point Strategies in New York City, and Brandon “B-Mike” Odum, founder of Studio B in New Orleans.