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  • Writer's pictureRishi Pradeep

Day 1 - It All Begins

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Although Generation Z is still young, today’s youth are the innovators, creators, and leaders of tomorrow. From apps that scan and diagnose the eye for disease to student-lead gun violence protests, the youth of today are already heavily invested in creating a better and more sustainable future.

Elevate the Future was started by 2 high school juniors in San Jose, California. They had the unique mission to cultivate the talent and passion of young students. Oftentimes, students go into middle school and high school unaware of the unique opportunities they have and the various paths they can pursue. This, in turn, leads to them being left behind academically and in terms of extracurricular activities. We recognized the need to ensure that students were aware of the various opportunities they have and to give them the tools and resources to realize their passions early and apply them in a way in which they can succeed.

Elevate the Future’s Business and Computer Science programs integrate key concepts that are vital to empowering the future. Our goal is to spark passions within the next generation to ensure their future success. In order to achieve this, we must all work together. This can’t be a small scale community project. Rather, it has to be a global movement to elevate the future of our youth around the world.

This week, we taught our business curriculum at Dilworth Elementary School in San Jose, California. On the first day of our program, when we walked in the classroom, all the students’ eyes gravitated towards us. They asked us many questions. “How old are you?” “What school are you from?” “What are we going to learn?” They were endlessly curious and genuinely excited for the lesson that awaited them.

On day 1 of our program, we taught students the basic concepts of economics followed by finance and its implications in personal life and in the business world on day 2. As we were teaching, it felt rewarding to see the look of excitement and fascination in the students’ eyes. It was amazing to see that these 4th and 5th grade students were actually interested by these concepts that they were otherwise not going to learn for at least another 4 or 5 years.

After our economics lesson, we split the students into groups and told them that each of their groups were stranded on an island. The only way to survive was to develop an economic plan and choose an economic system which their island would run on. It was truly amazing to see the creativity of what each group came up with. From a government where each member on the island would be provided with food and shelter to a system under which members would have to separate and work for their own survival, the imagination of these students was endless.

Following our finance lesson, we led an activity about planning, investing, and repaying. Students would make a budget for the construction of a building made of popsicle sticks, invest in the materials to make the building, and repay their borrowed money based on how tall their building was and how long it stood for.

Over the last two weeks, the students have become increasingly engaged and immersed in business. Each day, these students are gaining skills that are going to set them up for future success. Irrespective of the academic paths each of these students decide to pursue, they will go into middle school with an understanding of what business is and the opportunities they have within it. Teaching these students has allowed us to spark interest in and pave the path for our youth to take the first steps to becoming the leaders of the future.

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