Business Curriculum for Junior and Senior High Students
In Texas, statistics reveal that one third of all children drop out of high school. These dropouts cost the state enormous amounts of additional expense in adult education, criminal justice and other social service programs. The latest comment from proponents of education is that it takes $5,000 to educate and $25,000 to incarcerate. Nearly one half of each graduating class goes directly into the work force without continuing their education. A disproportionate number of minority youth, especially those from at-risk families are finding themselves involved in the Texas Criminal Justice system. To combat this existing situation, and provide at-risk youth with marketable business skills, the Rural Business Project and the 4-H youth program in Bexar County have “teamed” up to conduct the “T-TEEM” project in San Antonio. T-TEEM stands for Texas Teens Exploring Entrepreneurial Minds.
“T-TEEM starts at the middle school level teaching 6, 7, and 8th grade students and their families in our communities about life skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, economic stability, financial management and business writing skills,” said Patrice Hertzock- Barnes County Extension Agent and T-TEEM Program Coordinator. “We are currently in the fifth year of this program and are extremely proud of its success.”
In 2002, a total of 200 youth in Bexar County’s Martin Luther King, Horace Mann, Edgar Allen Poe Middle Schools as well as the Life Institute Charter and Sam Houston senior high schools participated in T-TEEM.
Teachers receive instruction in how to conduct the curriculum and students are provided with intensive instruction about all aspects of marketing and developing a business. This study includes each student producing a working business plan that enhances writing, mathematical, analytical and logic skills. As in previous years, a business competition is held in San Antonio and students compete for recognition and cash stipends to improve their businesses. In 2003, the competition was held at South Park Mall.
“We have seen a tremendous improvement in the self-esteem of the T-TEEM participants,” Barnes said. “The students have created numerous businesses which have included baby-sitting, catering, key-chains, T-shirt designing and sign making to name a few.” According to Barnes, the businesses created by the students have helped them become more independent and in some instances, helped to reduce family expenses for school clothes and supplies by allowing these young entrepreneurs to earn their own money. This entrepreneurship program shows how youth can gain valuable life and business ownership skills that give them an advantage in the real world and keep them focused on their education. The 2006, T-TEEM group planned a City-wide Youth Entrepreneurship conference to share past successes and plan future small business activities. Over 1,500 youth have been exposed to small business training and hundreds have started their own businesses.
Was this information helpful? Provide Feedback or report broken links.