The Emerging Leaders teen program was honored at the Annual Illinois Afterschool Network’s Conference on May 3rd. The program received this year’s IAN ‘Best Practice Program’ award, which goes to an afterschool program which demonstrates outstanding afterschool leadership. The program won for operating a holistic, innovative and high quality program for teens in Illinois.
The Sprouting Out Social Entrepreneurs project integrates a social mission of developing environmentally-conscious teen leaders, who are agents of positive change in their community, with a socially-conscious business venture. The teens are creating an enterprise which provides innovative entrepreneurial training and paid internship opportunities, through the development and distribution of sustainable teen-grown and teen-made products. This project provides 65 paid teen internships through out the year! An entrepreneurial mindset is an advantage for teens in our fast-changing world. This project educates today’s teens on the fundamentals of running a socially responsible business so that they can become the progressive leaders of tomorrow. The teens engage in service-learning activities that teach skills of; entrepreneurial innovation, money management, creativity, networking, responsible business practices & strategies, creating social capital, fiscal responsibility & sustainability, all used to achieve the project’s goals.