Twenty youth participating in the North Baton Rouge Youth Development (NBR) Program spent their summer preparing for college, future careers and entrepreneurship.
NBR is UREC’s premier spring and summer initiative for youth in grades 9 through 12. Beginning in May, participants completed 32 hours of ACT coursework, followed by a rigorous 4-week entrepreneurship institute with professors from Southern University’s College of Business. In addition, participants interned at local businesses in alignment with their career interests.
The summer session culminated with the NBR Business Competition wherein the youth pitched viable business concepts to a panel of judges. NBR Fellows pitched business concepts surrounding education, entertainment, cuisine and recreation. The business concepts included:
- Back to Basics Tutoring BR: A tutoring enrichment program that seeks to bridge the gap between comprehension and subject mastery
- Movie Kingdom: An affordable movie theater and popcorn distribution site
- The BAQYARD: A restaurant offering healthy, local and organic food with a “soul food flare”
- The Rec Center: A cause driven organization that provides recreational opportunities that are educational and enriching
NBR fellows spent the summer developing a business plan and business pitch, which included conducting research on market trends, enhancing presentation skills, developing a budget, and building a website.
The pitches were judged by a panel of business and community leaders, including: Robert “Bo” Miller, The Cottonport Bank; Dr. Ronald Jackson, LEAD Training Resources Group; Hon. Sharon Weston-Broome; UREC Board President Cathy Denson; and UREC President & CEO Emel Alexander. The NBR team that presented the Movie Kingdom concept earned the Head Entrepreneur in Charge grand prize.
In addition to business plan development, NBR fellows received stipends and were assigned internships at various worksites throughout the summer. UREC’s 2016 NBR Worksite Partners were: Cumulus Media, Shaw Center, Baton Rouge General, Southern University, HT and Associates, Stantec, JMJ Psycological Services, WTAA Engineers, Baton Rouge General, East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office, New Venture Theatre, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and LSU Perkins Clinic.
The NBR Youth Development Program is sponsored by Capital Area United Way, ExxonMobil, the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, and the East Baton Rouge Office of Community Development.