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Empowering Foster Youth Through Entrepreneurship.

foster youth

Navigating the complexities of raising and educating children, especially those with unique challenges, can be daunting. As a pediatrician, I've seen firsthand the incredible resilience children can develop in the face of adversity. This is why I was so thrilled to have Erica Myers, the founder of Fosterpreneur, join me on the latest episode of "Brainpower with Dr. Eko." Erica's mission to empower foster youth through entrepreneurship is not only inspiring but also crucial for breaking cycles of trauma and poverty.


Erica’s philosophy centers on a strengths-based approach. She emphasizes the remarkable resilience and resourcefulness that foster care youth often develop through their challenging experiences. Imagine having to constantly adapt to different living environments and schools; these youths become adept at navigating change, a skill essential for entrepreneurship. They learn to be flexible and handle unpredictability, traits invaluable in the business world.


She shared how these seemingly adverse experiences can be reframed as strengths. The resilience foster youth develop is a crucial asset for entrepreneurship. Surviving and thriving despite numerous challenges builds a kind of toughness that’s essential for starting and sustaining a business. This perspective shift—from seeing foster youth as disadvantaged to seeing them as incredibly resilient and resourceful—forms the foundation of Fosterpreneur.


Fosterpreneur’s program is not just about business; it’s about holistic support. Recognizing the trauma that many foster youth have experienced, Erica’s team ensures that the young people they work with have their basic needs met before diving into entrepreneurship. This includes addressing essential needs like housing, food, and emotional support.


The program includes a virtual cohort model that lasts approximately eight weeks. This allows foster youth from various regions to participate, offering flexibility and broad reach. Each session starts with a trauma-informed check-in, addressing how participants are feeling and what they’re bringing to the session. This ensures that they are emotionally ready to engage and learn.


Community is at the heart of Fosterpreneur. The program provides one-on-one coaching and group support, creating a network of peers and mentors who understand and share similar experiences. William, their business coach, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, helping participants navigate the complexities of starting and running a business.


Erica has built a team that complements her strengths and fills in her gaps. She focuses on building relationships and providing holistic support, while William handles the technical business curriculum. This collaborative approach ensures that foster youth receive comprehensive support, both in business and personal development.


One of the most inspiring moments of the conversation with Erica was dreaming about creating "Hope Homes," safe places where foster youth who have aged out of the system can live and receive the support they need to thrive. Fosterpreneur would play a crucial role in these homes, helping residents start their businesses and achieve financial independence.


Starting a business is challenging, and Erica acknowledges that it requires more than just a vision. It requires resources, support, and a community willing to invest in these young entrepreneurs. Fosterpreneur provides not only financial support but also emotional and practical support, helping participants navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.


For those interested in entrepreneurship but not ready to commit fully, Fosterpreneur offers a drop-in series. This monthly program allows young people to explore different business subjects and ask questions, providing a gentle introduction to the world of entrepreneurship.


To all parents, educators, and community members, I encourage you to support Fosterpreneur and the incredible work Erica Myers is doing. Visit their website at www.fosterpreneur.org and follow them on social media to stay updated and find out how you can help.


Let’s come together to support our foster youth, recognize their strengths, and provide them with the opportunities they deserve.


Thank you for reading this blog! Tune in to the full episode on your favorite podcast platform, and I hope you found it as inspiring as I did. Please share it with your friends and family, and let's spread the word about the transformative power of entrepreneurship for foster youth.


With gratitude,

Dr. Hokehe Eko

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