A group of Baltimore city high school students spent the summer became founders for their summer jobs, as Bet on Baltimore returned to offer an entrepreneurship program for more students in its second year.
The program began in 2017 with eight students from Green Street Academy. This year, 40 students participated from five schools, adding Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, Benjamin Franklin High School, Digital Harbor High School and Baltimore Design School.
During the five-week program, Dent Education presented a curriculum that applied design thinking to launching business or social ventures. Cofounders Rajan Patel and Jackie Bello seek to inspire leadership along with teaching about concepts such as prototyping. The students also heard from Baltimore entrepreneurs and community leaders.
The program provides experience inside the city’s entrepreneurial spaces. The students had a chance to build products using tools at The Foundery and Open Works, and were also based out of the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business, Bello said.
Along with building and testing, the teams creating a business venture got a chance to bring products to market at pop-ups at R. House, Lexington Market and Mt. Vernon Marketplace.
Mount Vernon Marketplace and @RHouseBaltimore welcomed the #YouthWorks group at @DentEducation with open arms. They were able to set up shop, sell their finished products and practice entrepreneurial skills. pic.twitter.com/gBQozNJ7KR
— Mayor's OED (@BaltMOED) August 23, 2018
They also got paid through the city’s YouthWorks program, and it’s funded by Under Armour, the Weinberg Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Here’s a look at what five finalist teams who presented earlier this month at Under Armour HQ, with info from Dent Education:
The all-Green Street Academy team created jewelry that was hand-drawn, and made using a lasercutter. The four students were awarded first prize of $500.
Team Keeping Cords in Order created a lasercut wooden owl to keep headphone cords from getting tangled. The Green Street Academy students picked up second place, and $250.
Feel Good Do Good
Seeking to spread awareness of mental health needs, the Mergenthaler students are starting school events to promote a dialogue.
Arts on Baltimore
The trio representing Mergenthaler and Western High School want to help young musicians. They’re creating a youth-run arts incubator to provide after-school programming in music production, songwriting and performance.
The five students from Digital Harbor and Baltimore Design School made phone stands that can be customized.