APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall met with some shining examples of young innovators at the Youth Entrepreneurs Atlanta’s’ “Dare to Dream” fall kickoff event held Tuesday at the Georgia-Pacific Center Auditorium. Dr. Hall joined several participating students as well as a host of “Dream Supporters” that included Martin Luther King III in helping support YE-ATL, an educational program sponsored by Georgia-Pacific and hosted in APS.
Hall noted a sea change of events that, while challenging, has provided a huge window of opportunity for today’s youth in the 21st century marketplace. She pointed to the Internet-driven social-media revolution, the increasing number of women in the workplace, and statistics that show soon there will be more English-speaking residents in China than the United States.
“What all of this means is that the top job offer or next big idea doesn’t always go to or come from the smartest individual. Success follows the one who can most adapt, adjust and transition in an environment of change,” Hall said.
Over the past decade, she noted, Atlanta Public Schools has changed, too: “APS can celebrate the fact that every public high school in this city is now a smaller, more personalized, college-preparatory learning environment. And in the past two years alone, APS graduates have more than doubled the scholarship dollars earned. The 2,100 graduates from the class of 2010 walked across the stage with scholarship offers totaling 129 million dollars. That’s up from 64 million dollars in 2008. Clearly, graduates are leaving APS better prepared to meet rigorous college requirements.”
She sees YE-ATL graduates who are appearing on historically black college and university campuses such as Morehouse, Spelman and Howard, as well as at the University of Georgia and even Stanford University.
Hall was introduced by Lene Moon of Carver’s School of Health Sciences & Research. The event provided APS students a chance to showcase the programincluding Demarquez Grissom and Robert Allison, Maynard H. Jackson High; Brandon Dykes, Douglass High; and Antonio Pitts, South Atlanta’s School of Health and Medical Science. Eric Anderson, CEO of Ah-Ha! Entertainment, delivered the keynote address after being introduced by Courtney Skipper of Therrell’s School of Law, Government & Public Policy.
King, the founder of Realizing the Dream Inc., was introduced by YE-ATL Executive Director JaKathryn Ross who provided the closing remarks. Other “Dream Supporters” who appeared were Curley M. Dossman Jr. of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation (introduced by Grady High’s Jose Lopez), Georgia-Pacific CEO/President Jim Hannan (introduced by Grady High’s Roxanne Johnson), and YE-ATL founder Elizabeth Koch (introduced by Douglass High’s Jerry Ficklin). North Atlanta High’s Essence Colvin and Jackson High’s Jeffrey Taylor kicked off the proceedings by welcoming the guests.
“Youth Entrepreneurs Atlanta provides students with practical, business information and experiences that will help them successfully pursue their goals – both in their academic and professional lives,” Ross said. “Students learn the principles of entrepreneurship and how those principles, when applied ethically, can help create a society where everyone benefits.”