Teen entrepreneurs presented the outcomes of the businesses they developed and implemented this summer at a luncheon Aug. 8 at the Houston Hilton North Hotel. The group of 22 teens were enrolled in the Teen Enrichment Academy at the Buckner Family Hope Center at Houston/Aldine.

Trevian O’Neal, 15, said the luncheon “was a very important part of the program for me because, I got to tell my story and share my struggles and show how it changed me into the person I am today. It also helped me understand the layout of a business and its end result. That is something I’ll take with me forever.”

During the summer, they created a business plan, applied for a loan for start-up capital and implemented their businesses. The project’s goal was to challenge the participants to look beyond the neighborhood they grew up in and develop skills to change their futures.

Participant Stephanie Mata, 14, said, “I would definitely come back next summer to expand my view, help the community more and also help myself grow.”

All the profits from the businesses were split between participants, based on the number of hours they worked. “In most cases," said Adam McKinney of Buckner Development, “these funds were needed and used for food, clothes and basic necessities for their families. This luncheon is the culmination of their hard work, and the teens are putting together the program and directing the entire event.”

The Teen Enrichment Academy helps teens prepare to enter the workforce through job training and readiness classes. The academy is for teens ages 14 – 18 with a focus on technological skills, daily-living skills, educational support, job-readiness skills, and hands-on work skills.


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