Entrepreneurship and mentoring are two things that can foster things like confidence, self-awareness, and connection with peers. WeThrive is an entrepreneurial program that pairs college students with middle school students that live within under-resourced communities. WeThrive provides students of low-income backgrounds with more support and additional opportunities to practice skills essential to wellbeing. Our after-school program uses community-based intervention to build self-awareness, explore identity, help young people feel like they belong, and provide mentors who are supported as proxy caregivers.
WeThrive has been active within 7 campus chapters including Cornell University, Columbia University and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). We are confirmed for 20 campus chapters in the fall. Throughout our programming, youth participants have created companies of their own, earned revenues and donated profits to charity while securing relationships with peers and near-peer mentors. Youth participants explore their identities, manage & reduce stress, and become more powerful changemakers. Throughout this process, students have increased their sense of self, belonging and purpose.
More often than not, our demographic is overlooked and not provided with the proper resources to thrive. Business lessons alone are not enough. Children of low-income backgrounds require an entrepreneurship education model that goes beyond simple business skills, and delivers impact at the core, resolving their emotional and spiritual needs. In the WeThrive program, students aged 11-12 years old run companies but most importantly, learn and practice life skills, gain mentorship, and form a support system in their very own neighborhood. With the knowledge of life skills, stronger self-awareness, and a support system of peers and mentors - youth participants will have the tools and structures to cultivate healthy wellbeing and achieve their definitions of success.
We recruit our mentors largely through social justice departments and minority clubs and organizations on campuses, to ensure the mentors are relatable to their mentees. Our college students are trained to be 1) mentors and 2) entrepreneurial facilitators who can guide students through the sort of wellbeing healing and education embedded within entrepreneurship and our curriculum.
WeThrive is equipping kids with the tools, environments, and relationships to cope, hope, and thrive. 11 and 12 year olds are at the perfect juncture for our lessons - young enough that they are still forming life assets like habits and self-talk, but old enough to take tangible action. Our entrepreneurial mentoring gives youth participants a sense of dignity and purpose. Similar to Ashoka, WeThrive believes that once this has been secured, kids can work to secure that for others and become powerful agents of change in their very own communities.