I don’t much get into workforce development for youth for a lot of reasons. One is that I believe its our society’s responsibility to create citizenry with a higher purpose than generating capital for a Machiavellian marketplace. However, I am finding myself increasingly leery of the ennobled purposes of dodging the conversation about creating jobs for youth.
So, what does that mean for my work? Well, literally it met that I’ve been a bit of an entreprenuer all my life, since I was 6 and made a sign for my advertising agency for the front door of the hotel room my family lived in at the time. I did the paper route and snow shoveling and lawn mowing and tried Junior Achievement and participated in an Urban League Young Financial Leaders course before I took my first “real” job when I was 14, when I was hired to teach in a program based on Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Ever after I’ve been involved in different social entreprenuership schemes, and at my last count I’ve began more than 50 youth-oriented projects. I’ve experienced more hesitation at doing this work as an adult than I ever did as a youth.
All that said, I’m about to start addressing ethically responsible ways to help young people meet their own economic goals, because I believe this is an essential consideration for social change led by and with young people. If you would like to help inform me as I move into this area reply to this post or send me an email to adam at freechild dot org.