Letter: YouthEntity’s good works
I’m writing to highlight the impact that YouthEntity, a local nonprofit, has in our schools. While not described as a vocational option, YouthEntity does provide practical, technical opportunities that add to what our local schools offer.
Harvard Professor Howard Gardner identified eight intelligences: musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. Unless schools specialize in these areas, the aptitudes that kids possess are often neglected for more “valued” skills. The bias against vocational training has cost us since many of those skills are needed for the 21st century. We want our students to graduate ready to succeed in a world that needs artists and veterinarians, chefs and engineers.
YouthEntity branched out from an organization focused on teaching kids how to retrofit old computers into providing hands-on learning experiences. Last year, the organization served 2,700 students with job-ready, career-ready, life-ready programs, including 1,800 kids who took a personal financial literacy workshop. A fifth-grader at Two Rivers Community School (TRCS) said, “YouthEntity helped me prepare for my future financially by teaching me how to spend and save correctly.”
A total of 391 students received career development and a chance to participate in a variety of internships. YouthEntity’s ProStart team competed against high schools such as Aspen and Vail to place first at the state competition and eighth at nationals, earning $250,000 in scholarships.
Three hundred kids participated in Lemonade Day, which teaches entrepreneurship, including students at Aspen and Crystal River Elementary, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs Middle and TRCS. Design Team, coached by Architect Gino Rossetti, developed plans for a rooftop garden at Valley View Hospital’s Cancer Center.
These accomplishments were possible by engaging the community and the work of 40 mission-driven volunteers. I’m proud to serve on the board of this fine organization and encourage you to support us by visiting YouthEntity.org or calling 970-963-4055.
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