During the summer of 2013, the Sundance Family Foundation sponsored thirteen youth from YSE organizations across the Twin Cities to attend Best Prep’s Minnesota Business Venture camp, a residential summer program conducted at St.John’s University and St.Could State University that brings high school students together to spend a week learning about leadership, business, financial literacy, and career options. During camp, students work together as a “company” while gaining knowledge from numerous guest speakers and volunteers.
After camp, we got together to discuss the YSEr’s favorite parts of the MBV experience:
Joe, who works at the Cookie Cart, shared that his favorite part of the camp was learning how to create a business plan and make a pitch. He and his company decided to focus on creating a product to help consumers manage their finances.
Sitresse and Eboni, who also work at the Cookie Cart, made many new friends and had a lot of fun during free time. They said left camp more confident in their ability to speak in front of groups and be leaders. They look forward to taking the leadership and business skills back to their organizations.
Kristi, who participates in Ashoka’s Youth Venture, reflects on what the program meant to her:
My week at Minnesota Business Venture was an excellent learning experience and a chance to make lots of new friends. Throughout the week we had to opportunity to learn from speakers about a variety of topics such as paying for college, starting your own business, public speaking, and more. Then we got to take what we learned from these speakers and use it to work with our team, or company. Our biggest challenge of the week was to put together a business plan and market a product that our company came up with. We only had a few days to get the presentation together and we had to work together in areas such as financing, marketing, and operations. Because I had to do this with people I’d never met before I learned new communication skills, practiced leadership, and most of all made new friends.
The entire week was an opportunity to meet new people and practice an important skill in business and life: networking. Because I went into the camp not knowing anyone this was especially important for me. Luckily I made great friends with my roommate and my company. I always had people to sit with at meals and hang out with at rec time. Making new friends was a high lite of this camp and I’m glad I took the opportunity to do it.
MBV was an amazing opportunity and I’m so glad I was able to do it. Thank-you Sundance for sponsoring me to go and allowing me to have these new experiences. I learned a lot and I will be able to take what I learned and apply it to my youth venture next year. I would love the opportunity to come back to MBV as a CEO.
We at the Sundance Family Foundation are grateful to the wonderful staff at Best Prep’s MN Business Venture Camp for giving the YSErs such a great experience. We are excited to see what new ideas and skills these talented youth will be bringing back to the Twin Cities YSE community!