Drew students host “R U an Innovator?” event at Charles H. Wright Museum

The students of Drew Transition Center, a post-secondary vocational center for special needs students ages 20-26, hosted a new fundraising event this week titled “R U an Innovator” at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 12-4 p.m.

“R U an Innovator” was the first fundraising event under the program “R U Ready 4 BIZness,” which is a unique entrepreneurship curriculum launched at Drew this year.

The goal behind the “R U an Innovator” event was to empower, educate and encourage youths in the metro Detroit area to learn about financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Students from across the district attended the event and participated in challenges such as Developing a Mobile Phone App, Creating a Product, Turning Passion into Profit, the CEO Challenge and a Financial Literacy simulation. The students also developed micro-business stations including a simulated bank, payment center, insurance company and grocery store. The students also developed micro-business stations including a simulated bank, payment center, insurance company and grocery store.

A panel of judges included three Detroit business owners: Reginald Drew of First Class Construction, Kevin Williams of All Skill Construction, and Dr. Phyllis Holmes of Renaissance Treatment Center. The judges provided constructive feedback to help students fine-tune their entrepreneurial ideas.

Randy Holloway, producer of Arete Productions, filmed the students while they prepared and presented their ideas to the judges.

Three student finalists of the Developing a Mobile Phone App challenge will compete in the Young Innovators Competition through the Prima Civitas Foundation. The three students, who are from Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School, East English Village Preparatory Academy and Drew Transition Center, will develop an App and compete with other students in Michigan.

The Prima Civitas Foundation, through its C.S. Mott Foundation-supported entrepreneurship initiative Moving Ideas to Market, has launched its fourth annual Young Innovators Competition, according to movingideastomarket.org. The competition encourages Michigan youth to submit ideas, concepts, or business plans to improve their communities.

Submissions are due by midnight, November 18, 2012. Competition results will be announced in December.

The “R U an Innovator” event was coordinated and hosted by the special needs entrepreneurship students at Drew Transition Center. The students are raising money for the editing cost of their “Don’t Count Us Out” documentary, which is due to air on PBS in 2013, according to program coordinator Laketa Dumas, a teacher at Drew Transition Center.

The documentary outlines the story of 13 special needs students who experience entrepreneurship for the first time and how it impacts their lives.

To learn more about the R U Ready 4 BIZness program, visit www.ruready4bizness.com.

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