Sixteen years ago, our founding Executive Director, recognized what has come to be widely-accepted knowledge now, that if we really want to prepare students to be successful in a 21st century global economy, we need to be teaching them entrepreneurship.
We live in a world in which the future is uncertain, rarely do we find individuals retiring from a career that they started after high school or college -- according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. Young people need skills that will allow them to make their own way. We can't predict the job market and economy our youth will enter, therefore, we really can’t predict the content our students will need in order to be successful after they leave our programs. But, we know without a doubt, that our students will need skills that will allow them to navigate uncertain waters and chart their own paths. The advantage of teaching skills is that they are not uniquely relevant to any singular career path. After all, one can be an entrepreneur in any field, so it stands to reason that the skills needed for starting a business would also be desirable in terms of being an employee.
Entrepreneurship education teaches these skills. Entrepreneurship education equips students to seek out problem-solving opportunities, empathize with others, think creatively, take risks, accept failure as part of the growth process, and appreciate the correlation between hard work and success.
GlassRoots offers two year-long programs for high school students looking to develop their artistry, as well as develop these essential life skills. Our Business and Entrepreneurship Program combines hard business skills with the beauty of glass art. After school, throughout the academic year, high school students gain proficiency in glass making, create an original product, and compete in a final business plan competition. FLAME (Focus, Leadership, Arts, Mentoring, Entrepreneurship) is a glass art/business skills program for high school students offered during the school day that increases school engagement, self-esteem and ambition, while improving prospects for future employment. FLAME culminates in a design competition. In addition to basic business concepts, both programs teach skills associated with entrepreneurs, such as money management, financial literacy and interpersonal communications, which are relevant and beneficial for day-to-day life. During the last 3 years, 100% of the students in both B&E and FLAME who have been eligible to graduate high school have graduated.
Ten years ago, Devon was a student in GlassRoots’ B&E program (then called NFTE.) He shares: “One of the great things that GlassRoots taught me was how I could best organize my creativity. For many people, that organization might be the platform for their creativity to reach its full potential. GlassRoots taught me how to mold creativity with a direction. The NFTE program taught me from an early age the fundamentals of how to create something from nothing, while making it my own and still providing value to the world. GlassRoots showed me that once you hone your talents and take pride in them, you will see all the avenues where you can use them to bring value to the world. If you are bringing value to people through art, you can make a living doing something you love.
Today I am a businessman, working hard to make a living through glass art and other initiatives. I still use the skills and lessons I learned in GlassRoots every day of my life and I can honestly say that my success today is directly because of GlassRoots.”
Because entrepreneurship can, and should, promote economic opportunity, it can serve as an agent of social justice. Dion is a proud alumnus of GlassRoots. He writes, “For me, GlassRoots was more than a creative outlet or “afterschool program.” GlassRoots provided another opportunity to stay away from the street life that surrounded us here in Newark. It provided us a safe space through which we met fellow young Newarkers who, like us, wanted a chance to make it as independent and confident adults.”
As the world of work changes, we recognize that students need more opportunities for creativity, innovation, and collaboration. As our schools become test-driven, and some of our students receive instruction via computers, opportunities for students to create, innovate, collaborate, and demonstrate proficiency or mastery in real-life ways become scarcer. Entrepreneurship education not only encourages, but also requires students to be creative, to innovate, and to collaborate with others.
Dion addresses this, “GlassRoots has truly been a place that changes every young adult who enters its doors for the better. For me, the business and relationship skills I built in GlassRoots were necessary in helping me find my current path within the corporate world. GlassRoots introduced me to the world of entrepreneurship and project management, an experience that has greatly impacted my college and professional career. I was able to tackle my senior design project and academic experiences with much more confidence and wisdom thanks to GlassRoots. I also learned the importance of establishing good connections and networking with those within my market. GlassRoots has definitely helped shaped me into the man I am today while helping me become successful in my cyber security career.”
We don’t expect our young entrepreneurs to all become glass artists, our hope is that their work with glass and entrepreneurship leaves an indelible mark on them, leading them to a more successful and prosperous future. Entrepreneurship education holds great value for all of our students, and in particular, those entering the fields of science, technology, mission work, social work, healthcare, and education. The future belongs to the innovators and creators, and entrepreneurship education serves as a great incubator for the types of creative, innovative ideas our students and our world need in the 21st century.
"When we think of the powerful training you offer young people, we are reminded of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s visionary words: “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Your commitment to bringing intensive glass arts and entrepreneurial experiences to students is definitely contributing to a more creative Newark and helping to shape the destinies of each individual with whom you connect. We look forward to your continued growth and success over the next few years..."
With these thoughtful words, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation announced another year of support for GlassRoots' programs and operations. The Dodge Foundation's support exceeds beyond their financial gifts, and for this we are very grateful!
Read more at http://www.grdodge.org/about-us/featured-news/dodge-announces-52-million-in-new-grants/?mc_cid=e1ff1f6603&mc_eid=562da8274e
We’re happy to welcome Rina, a member of our Summer Youth Leadership Corps (YLC), as our guest Tweeter for the next month! This is the third GlassRoots program for Rina, and she wants to share her perspective on our programs! Rina is a rising senior at East Side High School in Newark, and is interested in business and art.
GlassRoots YLC program provides in-depth training on leadership/mentorship skills preparing participants to serve as mentors in an our summer glass-experience program. The YLC is ‘staffed’ by students who have participated in our other long term programs and who are ready to be trained as counselors/mentors.
In this 6-week summer work/internship program high school students receive on-site and OTJ mentorship training and experience that helps ready them for college or the workforce while not losing the gifts and uniqueness of our glass art program. The YLCs create, learn, and grow intellectually, socially and emotionally and can apply this experience to their resumes and school applications. With a focus on developing communication, teamwork, personal identity, professionalism, and project management, the YLCs complete the summer having developed the skills they need to succeed.
Follow Rina on our Twitter and Instagram feeds! Her posts will be marked with an RA!
Are you familiar with the college application process? Been through it before and want to spread your knowledge, and spare some other students some pain?
GlassRoots is seeking a volunteer to assist our GlassRoots/Penland fellows with the college application process. Ideal candidate would have intimate knowledge of the college application process in New Jersey.
Commitment: 2-3 hours to host 1 or 2 information sessions, here in our studios at 10 Bleeker Street, and to be available to the students for follow-up questions via email or phone until the application is completed.
Email Lisa Duggan, Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-353-9555, Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.
While other people think of June 30 as the day before July 1, we see it as the last day of our fiscal year - the last day we can recognize your generous gifts toward our July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 expenses. (Right, we're such exciting people!!)
And while we LOVE color; on June 30, the color we love the most is BLACK.
With a little more GREEN, your end of year gift will help to ensure that when we close our books on Friday, BLACK is the color of the day.
Won't you make your gift today? Thank you!
GlassRoots is looking for a great Development and Finance Assistant to join the administrative team of our exciting and growing arts education organization in Newark NJ. We’re seeking a self-motivated individual with outstanding analytic, database, and organizational skills. Working in support of the Development and Finance operations, this individual will employ high-level skills to track donor activity, monitor finances, and assist in organizational administration.
Responsibilities will include but are not be limited to assisting the CEO with the growth of our individual and institutional donor programs; assisting the COO with financial recording and reporting, and providing important support to the overall mission.
Qualified candidates will have experience with financial management software (extra points for QuickBooks) and a CRM (more points for eTapestry.) They must be able to demonstrate well-developed skills with Microsoft Excel and Word.
Position begins July 1. Flexible hours – ½ to ¾ time to be negotiated with successful candidate. Benefits for 25 hours plus, starting at $18-20/hour. To apply, email a cover letter in the body of your message and resume as an attachment to email@example.com. Information about GlassRoots at www.glassroots.org. Full job description below. No calls please.
Development and Finance Assistant Job Description
½ to ¾ Time beginning July 1, 2017
Administrative tasks include:
Xavier C is a 16-year old junior at St. Benedict's School in Newark. It was his Business and Finance teacher that encouraged ‘X’, as everyone calls him, to apply to our Business and Entrepreneurship program. At first, he was discouraged, thinking family finances would bar his participation; his teacher told him to apply anyway. Donated funding made the program an affordable reality for X. While he had no prior experience with glass, he was moved by the danger of the hot shop; “It is like bathing in molten lava,” he said. Inspired by his love of video games, his idea was to target the market of avid fans who would love to collect their favorite characters rendered in glass. He liked how the process of creating a business plan gave him an additional window on the concepts that he was learning in his personal finance and business classes at school. It made the school lessons come to life. X will be working nearby over the summer; just a few blocks away from GlassRoots. He hopes to spend as much time as he can back in our hot shop.
This afternoon, over a dozen greater Newark high school students who have spent the last academic year creating their own glass art and an accompanying business plan for marketing and selling their one-of-a-kind pieces will showcase their work at our 13th Annual Business Plan Competition and Trade Fair. The GlassRoots FLAME and Business & Entrepreneurship Programs, dedicated to nurturing and guiding the entrepreneurial spirit, are modeled after the curriculum from the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, an international non-profit organization that introduces youth to the world of entrepreneurship.
Youth entrepreneurship is a proven strategy that positively impacts the lives of young people, particularly those hard to reach, disadvantaged and at-risk youth we serve here at GlassRoots. Participants in our youth entrepreneurship programs have shown improvements in their communication, decision-making and goal-setting abilities and have an increased interest in attending college while simultaneously decreasing their exposure to at-risk behaviors. Over the past three years, 100% of our students eligible to graduate from high school have in fact graduated, with most heading to postsecondary programs.
Our programs offer a plethora of benefits, including financial education, role models and the necessary tools to successfully design and operate a business. These programs also offer our youth an opportunity to take risks, manage the results and learn from the outcomes while also motivating them to be productive and engaged in their communities.
This year, students in the school-day FLAME program were challenged to design a product that could retail at Whole Foods for $19.99 or less; thus the students had to reverse engineer glass art products and create a design that could wholesale no more than $8/piece, which could be made numerous times and were salable. They rose to the challenge, and you can now purchase their work in the Whole Foods in Downtown Newark. We know that by embracing youth entrepreneurship we are positioning our community to generate and retain wealth. Over the last 20 years, entrepreneurship has accounted for more than 75% of all new jobs in America. By supporting youth entrepreneurship programs, we’re not only improving our local economy, we are strengthening America’s economy and offering opportunities for youth to build wealth, and envision a new future.