Youth Entrepreneurs Make Pitches and Connections

Summer program motivates teens to explore and learn

Camille Godfrey perfects a pitch at University of New Haven’s Youth Entrepreneurs program. Photo Leigh Busby

While many teens were relaxing over summer vacation, a group of New Haven area high school students pitched their business and social venture ideas to a crowd assembled in a college lecture hall. It was the culmination of a business and innovation class at The University of New Haven and part of the Youth Entrepreneurs summer enrichment program recently funded by The Community Foundation.

Students worked with a professor to develop ideas ranging from a real estate company to a mental health service. They learned how to prepare financial statements, study competitors, and develop marketing plans.

“It was phenomenal,” said Dr. Laquita Joyner-McGraw, founder of the program. “These are the skills that they will need moving forward.” After the course, students were paired with mentors in their field of interest to apply what they learned and gain hands-on experience.

“It was phenomenal. These are the skills that they will need moving forward.”

Dr. Laquita Joyner-McGraw / program founder