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October 18, 2006 - YouthBiz -Creating Future Business Leaders of America

What: 2nd Annual Breakfast at the Biz

Where: Walnut Foundry

When: Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Time: 7:30 am

Ticket Prices: no cost, donation appreciated

Beneficiary: YouthBiz

EMCEE: Jeffery Smith, Age 13, Tier 2 Crew Leader

Executive Director: Angel Gutierrez

Staff: Angel Gutierrez-Executive Director, Chris Wanifuchi-Chief Operating Officer, Joe Ballweg-Controller, Kathryn Garber-Executive Assistant/Office Manager, Habakkuku Ammishaddai-Program Manager Tier 1, Andrea Giron-Program Manager Tier 2, Alejandro Casillas-Systems Manager/IT Support. Ariel McGee-YouthInk Business Manager, Dean Tsutsui-Business Consultant, Juan Herrera-Production

Welcome: Jeffery Smith

Speaker: Anai Soto-Rodriguez, Juan Gutierrez, Shanita Lewis

Catering: Gourmet Fine Catering

Of note: Mayor Hickenlooper made a unannounced appearance to show his support for YouthBiz

Sponsors: Money Tree, Dex, Great-West, Sir Speedy 11th & Lincoln

Menu: Breakfast Favorites

Attendance: 200+

Attire: Business Casual

Special Thanks: Sponsors, Supporters, Students, and Volunteers

Information: www.youthbiz.org

Board of Directors: Board: Peter Shepard-Chair, David Fisher-Vice Chair, Rufus Nagel-Vice Chair, Mark Rahe-Treasurer, Kim Bailey, Denise Lourdes Delgado, John Gowen, Justin McMorrow, Amy St. Denis Trustees: Debbie Jessup, Diane Wallach, Monica Pleiman, Michael Pollak, Mayor John Hickenlooper-Virtual Trustee

Blacktie Photos by: Tracy E. Hoback


 Cynthia Gallegos, left, Glenna Norvelle, Raquel Martinez
Cynthia Gallegos, left, Glenna Norvelle, Raquel Martinez

Bright and early on the coldest morning yet this October, several members of the community gathered for a good cause. YouthBiz was hosting the second annual Breakfast at the Biz event.

YouthBiz is an after-school job program that teaches youth from ages 13 to 21 skills necessary to be successful in the business environment. These lessons include two tiers of training. Tier One teaches handshakes, resume writing, interviewing skills, telephone etiquette, and basic computer skills. As a reward of mastering these technical skills, students are given a computer at graduation, which will help them continue their Individual Development Plan. The IDP is a plan students follow for their duration at YouthBiz that helps them to reach goals and break barriers which may have held them back.

Tier Two is advanced; students use the skills they learned in Tier One to actually run a business. YouthInk is a screen printing business that produces logo products and apparel. Students understand what it takes to run a successful business through marketing, sales, production, and clerical tasks. Completion of Tier Two rewards its students by giving them the confidence and competency to be a working, contributing member of the community. YouthBiz enhances the education of the youth in their programs by teaching not only business practices, but skills these youth will use day to day their entire lives.

This event began with a bang as Mayor John Hickenlooper made an unexpected appearance to show his support. With such a great beginning, the rest of the event was sure to be a success. Attendees began to arrive and find their tables and make their way to the buffet. There was a lot of mingling, catching up and of course a little business talk. As the buffet lines and beverage lines began to diminish, the program began.

Jeffery Smith, a graduate of the YouthBiz program, was the event's emcee. He began by welcoming everyone and thanking them for their support. Just to get everyone relaxed and ready to have a good time, he asked all the student speakers to join him on the stage. Once all the students were on stage, they asked the entire audience to stand. Everyone was about to learn the Motorcycle Dance. The students taught the moves to the crowd, next it was time to dance. There was a lot of laughter in the room as everyone in the audience tried their hardest to Motorcycle!

As the music was turned down and people took their seats, Jeffery Smith introduced a video presentation. The wonderful video showed highlights of students in the program, how it works and how YouthBiz has made a difference in so many youth's lives. Next were three speakers, all graduates of the YouthBiz program, each with successful futures ahead. Anai Soto-Rodriguez told the audience how her experience taught her to be proud and to work hard. Juan Gutierrez, an East High School senior, gave the attendees a really good idea about the things young people can accomplish with a little help and direction. Juan was very expressive and energetic as he recapped his accomplishments and the role YouthBiz played in helping him realize those accomplishments. Shanita Lewis was the final student speaker. She told the audience that her whole family has faith in the YouthBiz program and that she was the third member in her family to graduate. She has been in the program for five years, and she thanked all those at YouthBiz for helping her realize success.

With the stories, experiences, and memories shared from each student, the audience gained a true understanding of YouthBiz, and all the good it does for the youth in the Denver community. Shanita Lewis asked at the end of her speech if those in attendance could please give to the YouthBiz organization. She told the audience that she and the others were lucky, because most of the youth who apply do not get accepted. Those in attendance at the breakfast had a chance to change that and to change the lives of youth who may not have too many chances. Shanita got a pretty good laugh when she said, “If you need to get money, there is an ATM in the back.” As she left the stage, all around the room guests were filling out their donation forms without hesitation. Giving to this cause and to the youth of Denver is easy when an amazing program like YouthBiz is there to educate and to guide them all toward a very bright future.

For more information about YouthBiz and to find out how you can become involved, please contact Chris Wanifuchi at 720-974-5103 or chris@youthbiz.org.

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