Dejah Cox tends to Sweet Sensations bee hives that are located on a vacant lot in north St. Louis (photo: Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio)
At only 15 years old, Dejah is president of Sweet Sensations, an entrepreneurship program run by Northside Community Housing, Inc. Built on top of tried and true hands-on and project-based learning styles, Sweet Sensations plugs into a growing interest to teach business basics in real-world settings.
“The idea was that the youth would learn how to run the business, and that they would actually run it,” said Phil Minden, who helped found the program. “That’s exactly what’s happening.”
The six students in the program, two of whom are part of the STL Youth Jobs Program, are paid $10 an hour and can create matched college savings accounts.
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It’s that time of year again when young people are pounding the pavement looking for summer jobs. For the second consecutive year, the city of St. Louis is offering people who range from sixteen to twenty-three years of age employment opportunities through a program called STL Youth Jobs.
Last week JPMorgan Chase Foundation joined Mayor Francis Slay to challenge other businesses to match its $100,000 gift to STL Youth Jobs to help reach the goal of providing 500 youth jobs over the summer.
STL Youth Jobs is managed by the Incarnate Word Foundation. It costs $2,000 to fund one youth employee’s job. Slay has put $100,000 into the city budget for the program and allocated another $100,000 from the city’s Public Safety Trust Fund.