Friday, January 9, 2009

About Us

As a seventeen year-old individual at Culver City High School, my idea to create a Youth Economic Empowerment Project stemmed from studying books on Black economics, and cultural financial issues. While noticing the diminishing numbers of African-American and Latino business owners, and increasingly large number of minority consumers, I saw a need for immediate action. Most people write books on the critical issues of poverty, but all fail to solve this growing problem. The only way to eradicate poverty, which is the interdependent factor of the deficiently educated, is to economically empower the future generations of tomorrow. Most young people do not understand that 1% of the population owns 57% of the wealth, and 10% own 86% of the wealth in this country. They also do not realize that the 1% of the population owning more than half of the wealth did not obtain their money from an NBA or NFL contract, selling drugs, or making a rap CD; yet buying and selling real estate, entrepreneurship, and investing in the stock market. In an effort to save the 18 million African-American and Latino individuals living on or below the poverty line, and the colossal amount of undereducated minority individuals, I have started the Youth Economic Empowerment Project. If successful, not only will these individuals become financially literate, but will see the value of a good education. The majority of poorly educated individuals live on or below the poverty line, and the tradition of low-education and low-income foster from generation to generation. 

Focusing primarily on inner-city low-income neighborhoods in and surrounding Los Angeles, we conduct various workshops, seminars, and hold events for young people. We would educate these individuals on economic issues facing their communities, while helping them understand finances, business, and the value of money. While we currently only conduct workshops, if we receive enough positive feedback, we are hoping to hold weekly classes this spring to fully educate out youth. 

During these weekly classes, we would teach our youth how to balance a budget, read and understand an income statement, create a successful business plan, and understand the basic principals of economics. Through this we also play numerous career games to broaden their prospectives on jobs and careers, while showing the benefits and setbacks of many popular choices. During these programs, students would engage in cooperative learning, while learning more about their communities. We would also assist young people with their educational decisions, and inform them of career opportunities, current events, internships, and college visits in their surrounding area. 

If you are an educator, religious leader, sports instructor, interested student or parent, or any other individual directly correlated with the youth, please email me at opaldillard@gmail.com or respond to this blog for an appointment for a possible workshop or seminar to young people.



Also, if you are interested in an economic empowerment weekly class, for the spring semester, please email me at opaldillard@gmail.com, or respond to this blog. :-)

3 comments:

  1. Wow, Opal, I would just like to say that this is one of the most inspiring things I have seen in the Black Community since the election of Barack Obama. You are one of those young women who will become a strong leader in the coming years, who will make everyone of our race proud to be an African American, proud to be Black. You have such entrepreneurial skills, such drive, such passion, that I know you will be the next Obama. In the coming years, I will be able to say that I knew you, that Ceo, that president. I know you as the girl with so much talent, fun to be around, with great fashion sense. I will be so happy to say, in the coming years- I knew Opal, she has always been that way, driven, powerful, a positive example of what youth can accomplish. You inspire people, Opal. Keep doing that, it's what you do best.

    Khadijah Williams

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  2. Wonderful idea. Stick to the vision, and stay focused even when you don't get as much positive feedback, concentrate on the few interested ones. Well done Opal.

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