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Youth Earn and Learn Provides Service to Community

Updated: Apr 3, 2021

The local non-profit Youth Earn and Learn was started out of a need for founder and Executive Director, Karen Bailey to guide and teach her son, Corey the importance of money and entrepreneurship.

Youth Earn and Learn is a nonprofit that “gives young ambassadors the ability to be guided and prepared to reach their academic, business, and career goals through mentoring, training, development and real-world experience.” Participants receive a stipend for providing a variety of services to seniors from grocery shopping, non-medical care and transportation to appointments. The young adults also set up and run mobile fresh produce stands. They have their own community garden and work with a local fresh food distributor.

“I wanted to show my son where money grows, and how it could grow in his pockets,” said Bailey. Her son started out small, buying and selling butter fingers to his school, church and neighborhood. The idea quickly caught on and soon others in his community asked if they could join. “We had a young man approach us not only wanting to sell candy, but interested in starting a corporation, and then I had the idea that we could start teaching youth how to build their own businesses.

In 2011, they held their first training and the organization continued to grow from there and continues to provide classes to the young adults on topics ranging from financial literacy, communications, to sales. In the beginning it was just Karen, but she continued to reach out to the community and create partnerships with a variety of organizations such as Wells Fargo, a fashion designer and communications professional.

As the organization grew they started to learn about food deserts and lack of access to quality, fresh food so they pivoted and added the fresh food distribution to their array of services.

Youth ambassador, Janiah started working with Youth Earn and Learn at the age of 12 a week before her 13th birthday. She started out doing yard work, after that she jumped into food inventory, and being a cashier at the mobile food distribution. “I’ve learned money handling, communication skills, how to invest my money and start my own business,” said Janiah.

Janiah now helps in many different ways and enjoys it all. “When I help somebody I feel awesome because I am giving back. That’s what I’m supposed to do. I’ve made a lot of friends.” Janiah is now 16 and figuring out her future, and says that working with the nonprofit has given her confidence to move forward.

Bailey has big dreams for the future of the organization, she’d like to take it global. “We want kids to get paid, and to empower them. I want to show them that you don’t have to wait, you can work now and build a business.”

Bailey says ultimately the goal is to give the youth confidence for their future.

You can follow the nonprofit here and find ways to get involved:

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