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March 10, 2023

Each generation has its challenges, but it’s no secret that today’s youth have become quite the softball stars, given the curveballs thrown their way. As humans, we’re designed to adapt, and no one does it quite like Gen Z. We’re not sure what’s in their water, but one thing is clear: This generation is driven by a desire to address social problems. Why not use that drive to your (and their) advantage? Cultivating a spirit of philanthropic entrepreneurship might not be part of your current game plan for student engagement, but Y4Y’s new Youth in Action course will get you and your staff excited about the possibilities.

The Name of the Game

The term “social entrepreneurship” might sound like a totally different ballgame than the one you’re playing, but it’s in the same ballpark as service learning and project-based learning. Social entrepreneurship blends a business goal of providing products or services with the desire to support a cause that improves the lives of others. It’s not a totally new concept. For example, over 100 years ago in Pennsylvania, this ideal inspired Milton Hershey to build a model community around his factory. So why pass the bat to your students? Here are three good reasons:

  • Social entrepreneurship is a natural tool for student engagement. It taps into their interests and their desire to make a positive difference in the world.
  • It benefits students. For example, projects that combine concepts from entrepreneurship and service learning let students practice real-world 21st century skills like creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication. Experiences with social entrepreneurship also help students develop important mindsets like the value of hearing multiple perspectives and the importance of empathy when developing solutions.
  • It benefits society. After all, you’re preparing the leaders, creators, and decision-makers of tomorrow!

The Introduction section of the Youth in Action course not only delves into the history and benefits of social entrepreneurship. It also shows how it can build the top workforce skills your students need to stay ahead of the curve.

Batter Up!

You need a team that’s fired up and ready to engage students in service learning and entrepreneurship activities, and that’s where the Coaching My Staff section of this course comes in handy. It provides ready-to-go trainings and tools — and it guides you through the steps to creating a professional development plan that’s a good fit for your program. You and your staff will be ready to start swinging in no time!

It doesn’t stop there, though. After staff have stepped up to the plate, they’ll need practical strategies to help students hit that home run. That’s where the Implementation Strategies section of this course comes in. You and your colleagues who complete this section of the course learn how to:

  • Describe the process for implementing a social entrepreneurship activity.
  • Facilitate social conversations amongst students.
  • Guide students as they implement their plans.

As you’ll notice while making your way through this course, it’s less about being the “sage on the stage” and more about being the “guide on the side.” If you or your staff aren’t sure what that might look like, don’t worry. You’ll get some practice scenarios, planning checklists, driving questions, and more.

Hit It Out of the Park!

As consumers, we’re often told that we “vote” with our dollar, meaning the businesses we choose to support should reflect the kind of world we want to live in. Today’s students already have an intrinsic desire to leave this world better than they found it. Putting youth in action so they can act on their best impulses is sure to be a grand slam!

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