Hoyt Aims to ‘Kickstart’ Youth Entrepreneurs

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A new program at the Hoyt Center for the Arts is geared toward giving students the skills they need to be their own boss.

Arts & Education at the Hoyt, a subsidiary of the regional arts center and museum, will pilot the new Kickstart initiative. The program is a result of the Hoyt’s recent designation as a PA Innovative Entrepreneurial Youth Hub last year – one of four in the commonwealth.

Kickstart targets students at the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center who are interested in gaining the experience and skills needed to transition their trades education into a viable business or leadership position, according to a press release. Youth Hubs “build a broad-based, coordinated system of entrepreneurial programming for and by youth that fuse workforce development strategies, the arts, culture and design, and community revitalization,” according to the PA Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network, which administers the initiative.

The informal learning community at each hub creates an environment where educators, students and community partners nurture entrepreneurial creativity, learn from each other, make connections and develop new skills, according to the release. Students will work in a management team to develop their own leadership styles and learn to effect change through their social ventures.

Students will also have a chance to pitch their ideas for a $1,000 prize for the best pitch.

They will learn the basics this summer with a short Lemonade Days project that runs July 5 to Aug. 16. Stands will compete at the Hoyt’s Annual Children’s Summer Arts Festival on Aug. 12. The stand with the most sales wins.

“And, yes, the students do get to keep the money,” says Hoyt Executive Director Kimberly Koller-Jones.

Participants will attend career exploration field trips and will receive a subscription to an online talent platform that connects their skills and interests to colleges and career opportunities with Fortune 500 companies.

To apply, visit Hoytartcenter.org/kickstart. Applications are due May 1 and only 20 new students will be accepted for the 2022-23 school year.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.