Build a brighter future by mentoring a young person.
As older generations continue to migrate out of the workforce, preparing our future business leaders is becoming more important than ever before. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of the workforce will consist of Millennials by 2020. Millennials, followed by the Gen Zers, will shape our economy for years to come.
At Youth Entrepreneurs, we’re celebrating a decade of offering innovative learning experiences for the region’s young people. Over the past 10 years, we’ve learned that nothing is more impactful than connecting students with mentors in Kansas City’s business community.
Prepare Future Leaders
Many young professionals enter the workforce lacking the exposure to business environments and soft skills that help them succeed. Through regular meetings, on-the-job guidance and classroom attention, employers can prepare students for the realities of the business world and real world. In fact, studies show mentored teenagers earn better grades, skip school less often and have higher self-esteem than those who aren’t mentored.
Cultivate Entrepreneurial Mind-Sets
Mentors open students’ minds to new career paths or business ideas they may not have considered otherwise. Whether it’s a networking event featuring national thought leaders or speakers from local startups—such as Zaarly, Maddy Nash, Sock 101 or Charlie Hustle—or a business plan adviser assisting with future outlooks, established businesspeople inspire students to explore new opportunities.
“I got to know Andrew Cavanaugh, the owner of The Smoothie Factory in Blue Springs, very well,” said Daniel Serres, YE alumnus and D.A. Socks founder. “He not only helped me make my business plan better, but he genuinely was excited for me to actually start it up.”
Today, mentorship benefits businesses as much as students. It allows companies to survey local talent and acclimate students to business values and environments.
Mentorship programs enable students to jumpstart their careers earlier through internships with well-known, local companies such as Cerner and GM. What’s more, these firms have discovered talented individuals and offered paid extensions on students’ internships. Local businesses are quickly realizing the benefits of these programs as they instill values-based thinking in young professionals and align them with company vision.
Engaging in meaningful mentoring relationships with young adults or teens not only exposes them to the endless possibilities in life, but also creates long-term value for society as a whole.