Miami-Dade teens will receive entrepreneurship education through new digital classroom initiative


WEBWIRE – Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to launch new program with $200,000 grant from Knight Foundation

MIAMI – Six hundred low-income South Florida students will benefit from a new Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship program to help students build entrepreneurship and technology skills with $200,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship will launch its digital classroom initiative this fall, with the goal of building a new generation of informed entrepreneurial citizens. Students in the program will connect with entrepreneurship educators, members of the local business community and peers across the country and the world.

In the first year of the program Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship will enable digital learning opportunities between 10 local classrooms and the business community, as well as schools in other markets. This will include videoconferencing, remote visits from guest speakers, online collaboration and social networking. Funding will also help build a user-friendly website that will provide collaborative tools for teachers and students, including class and student profiles, blogs, forums and integrated classroom lessons.

“Miami is full of ideas and talent, but to make an impact these need to be cultivated,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director in Miami. “The digital classroom program does just that by imparting important business skills to young people who will add to Miami’s growing momentum as a hub for entrepreneurship and inevitably shape the future of the city.”

“Our program has a powerful impact on young people, extending into the workforce and business ownership,” said Alice Horn, NFTE South Florida executive director. “Our recent alumni survey revealed Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship alumni are twice as likely to be self-employed entrepreneurs as the general population. We are delighted that, through Knight’s support, we have the ability to leverage technology to open doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

Knight Foundation announced the grant today at a Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship breakfast launching the initiative. The event, Crack the Code, included speeches from Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Haggman, as well as a business plan presentation by young entrepreneurs. It was hosted by iPrep Academy, a magnet school that prepares students for careers and leadership roles through innovative teaching techniques in a technology-rich environment.

As part of the program, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship alumni will mentor students. Those role models include entrepreneurs such as Samandie Douceur, a Miami Edison Senior High School student who is developing an app that helps users make fashion choices. Samandie, who emigrated from Haiti just three years ago, is one of 12 brothers and sisters; she hopes to help her family overcome economic hardship by developing marketable business skills. She was one of the top five finalists in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship South Florida’s Regional BizPlan Challenge.

Miami is the fourth largest school district in the country. Introduction of the digital classroom initiative by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship follows a June 2013 commitment by the Miami-Dade School Board to ensure each of the district’s 350,000 public school students have digital access by 2015. As part of the commitment the board approved $100 million toward technology-related infrastructure upgrades.

The program’s long-term vision is to build a supportive network among the more than 3,500 South Florida students who learn with the organization annually, and more than 50,000 students, teachers, volunteers and staff around the world.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org.

About the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Too many young people today drop out of school and struggle to break the cycle of poverty. Since 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has been inspiring young people to pursue educational opportunities, start their own businesses, and succeed in life. By providing entrepreneurship education programs relevant to the real world, NFTE empowers students to own their educations in and out of the classroom and to find their own path to success. Hundreds of thousands of students have discovered opportunity all around them through entrepreneurship via thousands of certified educators worldwide. NFTE supports active programs in 18 U.S. states and 10 countries around the world. Entrepreneurs are a powerful driver of economic growth and NFTE sows the seeds of innovation in students worldwide. For more information, visit www.nfte.com.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.



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