LITE's journey to address poverty and empower youth

 

More than five years on from our first grant to Let's Innovate through Education (LITE) in Memphis, Tennessee, we are happy to see that the organization is positioned for tremendous growth. LITE Memphis strives to provide Black and Latin American students with the set of 21st century skills necessary to become successful entrepreneurs and obtain high-wage jobs across economic sectors. LITE fights poverty by equipping students with the skills needed to launch their own businesses, pursue other jobs, and increase college matriculation, which leads to jobs that offer greater stability and higher wages. Their innovative program has now been accredited at the University of Memphis - giving every student that completes the program 3 credit hours equal to an introduction to entrepreneurship class.

A rigorous external evaluation performed by Slingshot Memphis also found that the LITE program has a direct impact on poverty. With the closing of our grant, LITE will continue to grow their entrepreneurial program to new high schools, increasing the number of students served by 25 percent each year over the next five years. A recent donation from the Cummins Foundation in the amount of USD 450,000 over the next three years will help to continue providing entrepreneurship education and change the trajectory for more youth throughout the mid-south.

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