JOPLIN, MO – For many young people, the thought of a professional career might not enter their minds until late in high school or early in college.
But a new program in Joplin is designed to change that.
It’s never too early to get kids thinking about their career plans, especially if it involves them starting their own business.
That’s the purpose of an eight-week class at the “Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Southwest Missouri” in Joplin.
“Career Start” is the name of the entrepreneurship program.
“Career Start is for 5th and 6th graders to learn about entrepreneurship and workforce readiness, so each week, they will practice different activities, um each session is themed for the week.” Says Amia Warren, Grants & Development Coordinator, Boys & Girls Club
As part of the program, guest speakers in the community with experience in entrepreneurship will speak to students each Friday for the next seven weeks.
“It creates a curriculum that exposes the younger generation to what entrepreneurship is all about, and that’s what we want to do is start sharing that information as soon as we can so the kids can start thinking about a career path in the future.” Says Doug Hunt, Dir. of Entrepreneurship, Joplin Chamber of Commerce.
Career start began today, and will take place the next seven Fridays.
It’s being funded by a grant through the “Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.”
“They may not have that thought all the way through high school, we want to change that, so for so long we’ve talked about skills or a trade or college degree, well, in addition to that, if somebody wants to enter the workplace and just start a business, it’s all of our responsibilities to make sure that individuals know the fundamentals.” Says Hunt.
In addition to the Chamber of Commerce, there are more free resources for this next generation of entrepreneurs to draw upon, to help them learn what to do and what not to do.
“It helps us see the world from a different perspective, grandma and I used to bake when I was younger so I’ve always wanted to open a bakery.” Says Kyleigh Peters, Career Start Program Participant.
“Just like a couple years ago I started like a bracelet business but it didn’t last for long because I didn’t have all the material I needed.” Says Nalani Wright, Career Start Program Participant.