Future Entrepreneurs Conference
Educating the youth and guiding them down the path where they can reach their fullest potential is important to many youth programs. Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services (PVJOBS) hosted their annual Future Entrepreneurs Conference (FEC) on Dec. 8 at West LA College, which included over 300 local juniors and seniors, many of whom are on entrepreneurial tracts at their schools, to include the following high schools: Fremont, Hamilton, Santee, Washington Prep, Westchester, Hilda Solis, ICEF and Morningside.
The conference aims to provide the kids with opportunities to connect with representatives from local tech companies and eight different guest speakers. The kids also received programming and occupational training, gift cards, hats, and books.
“We want the kids to know about the options out there after high school and steer them away from the gang influences in our neighborhoods,” said Mary Taylor, executive director of PVJOBS. “Some students will qualify to receive no-cost occupational training and employment opportunities.”
Speakers at the conference are expected to include the owner of Happy Ice, Lemeir Mitchell, an entrepreneur from Philadelphia. After the death of his brother, Mitchell realized the importance of making the most of every day. Now, his business crafts and serves ultra-premium Water Ice treats throughout L.A.
The FEC is sponsored by PVJOBS, a 25-year-old local nonprofit organization, and is designed to expose students to various outlets for their futures—whether that be PVJOBS programs, WLAC enrollment, tech training, or entrepreneurship.
“This is our third year of FEC and it promises to be a financial literacy experience that will spark the entrepreneurial spirit with those young minds,” said Taylor. “They’ll learn about coming up with a business idea; developing a plan; funding the plan; and executing the plan.”
Donni Wiggins will also speak at FEC. A self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur,” Wiggins went from a career in real estate to foreclosure during the 2008 recession. She later became obsessed with learning about business and mindset principles and built a network of mentors, which helped her reestablish herself financially.
PVJOBS has reported that, as of 2021, nearly 11 million American children are being reared in poverty. With minimal access to quality education and basic needs like food and shelter, inner-city children and teens are less likely to succeed than those raised in the middle class and above. PVJOBS understood that the most meaningful way to inspire young adults is by showing them successful individuals raised in similar circumstances. Each speaker showed that success isn’t just a faint hope it’s a reality. Through dedication and motivation, each speaker persevered to change their life for the better drastically.
The Future Entrepreneurs Conference was a beacon of hope for the inner-city youth in attendance. It showcased the possibilities that come with determination and hard work, and it gave them the tools they needed to pursue their dreams. PVJOBS’ mission to provide at-risk individuals with lasting and meaningful opportunities for a brighter future was truly inspiring.