EMERGE: Empowering, Mentoring, and Educating Rising Generations in Entrepreneurship

The Cause

EMERGE: Empowering, Mentoring, and Educating Rising Generations in Entrepreneurship

The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) in collaboration with another not-for-profit organization, Struggle is Your Success (SIYS), is working to implement six training workshops to teach entrepreneurship to youth who have had intersections with the judiciary in Calgary. We aim to empower these high-risk young people with an entrepreneurial mindset through our program and workshops, "Dream It, Plan It, Build It."

This program, delivered over 6 weeks of facilitation, helps young adults conquer the obstacles of monotony, uncertainty, and fear and guides them in creating an "Idea Plan" or a "Mini Business Plan." We teach them how to transform their difficulties into triumphs by changing their perspective. Our program comprises SIYS workbook exercises that boost their problem-solving abilities, educating them on the significance of earning legitimate money, and enhance their communication skills by having them present their ideas and project plans to their peer group and adults in the business community.

Our concept aims to empower young people by helping them discover their passions and sense of belonging. We strive to guide them in overcoming their challenges and transforming them into success by changing their mindset. We provide a support system that includes mentors and peer-to-peer support through monthly collaborative workshops focusing on personal development and community engagement. Our program also fosters mentorship and knowledge exchange by connecting young people with BIPOC leaders in monthly sessions. Our goal is to facilitate holistic growth for all youth participants.

Who Will it Benefit?

This program aims to empower incarcerated Black and Arab immigrant youth and provide them with opportunities to unearth their potential. This benefits these at-risk populations and serves the broader community needing change. In addition to the benefits and features for the community, this program will impact the following points:

- SIYS will work with TIES to incorporate community-centric elements into its workshops and programs, creating a comprehensive experience for at-risk youth and participants.

- The partnership between SIYS and TIES will expand SIYS's reach by leveraging TIES's extensive community networks, enabling more youth to benefit from its transformative initiatives.

- SIYS offers monthly mentorship drop-in sessions connecting youth with local BIPOC role models, fostering learning and belonging.

- Data Collection: With our increased reach, we can collect more data to analyze and grow our program. This will also attract more investment and funding through impact reporting.

According to  The City of Calgary Census data, the population of Calgary is 1.4 million with more than 250,000 people between the ages of 15-29. In 2021, Visible Minorities made up 40% of the Calgary population (approx. 560,000 people). Calgary Young Offenders Centre reported to SIYS -Struggle is Your Success stakeholders that the number of Black and Arab youth incarcerated is about 70% of their population.  

"This program is nothing like anything that is offered to our residents currently. This program will help the youth to identify things that they are passionate about, create something with their passion, network with people, and promote their ideas in a pro-social way. I am very excited about this opportunity to work with SIYS and continue this relationship for many years." - Melory Janczak, Life Choices Coordinator
Calgary Young Offender Centre and Adult Female Annex.