Summer 2022 Market Day: Businesswomen in the making
By Tara Delcarmen, Project REACH participant and GINYC communications intern
Every year, Girls Inc. of New York City runs two summer camp programs for middle- and high-school students. This year’s camps were based on our Girl Boss curriculum, which educates and inspires students to become entrepreneurs, C-suite leaders, data scientists, and innovators. Throughout the course, students move from ideation to business plan, prototype, and pitch, while developing 21st century skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and leadership.
During the middle school camp, students worked in teams to plan and develop real business ideas, which they prototyped and presented at a culminating Market Day on July 27. Market Day featured about twenty businesses, each proposing a unique purpose and offering products. Professionals from the Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase asked the young entrepreneurs questions and provided them with meaningful comments about their work.
Not all of the student businesses aim to generate profit. Justice 4 Juveniles, a Black-led nonprofit, focuses on “working with adolescents (11 to 25) in the state of New York impacted by the justice system. [The nonprofit] provides mental health services, mentoring, and legal counseling.” The students who pitched Justice 4 Juveniles want to create a better future for our youth, because the justice system has failed to protect them in numerous ways. They sell t-shirts, bracelets, shorts, tote bags, and quote canvases and use the proceeds to provide services.
Another proposed business, Embrace Your Creativity, is a card game designed to allow “players to express their creativity” in a way that makes them feel comfortable and “pushes the players to show their interests more without feeling like they will be judged.” Some fun prompts in the card game include:
Create a move to represent the phrase “Larger than life”
Create a poem about the rain
Sing do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do with a fake accent/different voice
One of the creators piloted the game with her friends and observed that the game helped them learn more about, and be more open with, each other.
The student entrepreneurs impressed the visiting professionals, GINYC staff, and their fellow business leaders. Our hope with this program is that the students use the skills they learned and apply them in the real world. Who knows? Maybe you will see one of these businesses come to life in the future!