In 2015, the Youth Business Enterprise (AKA the Youth Business Squad) was developed by UPAC’s Alliance for Community Empowerment (ACE) youth and staff to address the need for marketable job skills among low-income refugee youth living in San Diego’s City Heights community.
Many Karen refugee youth have resided in San Diego less than 7 years, arriving after spending years in refugee camps in Thailand. Karen and other refugee youth face the same challenges as other low-income youth in these neighborhoods, compounded by “being different”, struggling with learning English, and trying to catch up academically with peers.
Today, the Youth Business Squad is a separate, operational business designed to:
- Teach youth entrepreneurship skills through the use of Technology, Arts and Math;
- Earn income to assist youth in refugee camps and support local neighborhood issues.; and
- Gain real life experience in product development, sales, marketing, invoicing, inventory control, waste and shrinkage management and promotion
The program will accomplish its mission through a printing business that develops and prints logos on T-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, visors, and cell-phone cases, using Microsoft Publisher, Corel and Illustrator software.
Revenue will be used to:
- Sustain the program;
- Outreach to other youth with similar problems; and
- Provide youth with opportunities to return to refugee camps to assist other refugees.
Funded by: AT&T, Price Philanthropies, SDG&E and Wells Fargo
Program Supervisor: Dante Dauz, BS, JD
5348 University Ave., Suite F202
San Diego, CA 92105
Phone #: (619) 265-2772
Fax#: (619) 265-2409