Two Black Men Start an Academy To Empower Youth of Color To Solve Social Issues Using Technology
Brandon Hill and Weeks Mensah graduated from Stanford University and the City Colleges of New York, respectably, but are the founders of Enza Academy.
Enza Academy is a youth innovation and leadership incubator with big, audacious goals for youth of color throughout the country. Their aim is to open a school, then eventually develop a network of schools across the nation that will focus on youth of color that are in low income homes and areas.
Their focus is to teach business strategy, social consciousness, computer programming, branding and design thinking to the young minds they have an opportunity to touch. These areas are much needed in our community, so it is our hope these young brothers not only receive our praise, but our support.
Despite only being one year into their endeavor with lofty goals, they are not sitting around waiting for opportunity to fall from the sky. They are taking action and recently held a free, five day residential program at Stanford University that gave 26 youth and opportunity to brainstorm technology solutions that can help their community solve problems.
The high school students participated in bootcamp style workshops on coding, business development and social justice. The event ended with a pitch event in which teams of five students presented their tech based solutions that might make an impact in justice, health, education, community or inequality.
[ADSENSE2]The high school students participated in bootcamp style workshops on coding, business development and social justice. The event ended with a pitch event in which teams of five students presented their tech based solutions that might make an impact in justice, health, education, community or inequality.
From Tech Crunch:
They gave the $1,500 grand prize to the team behind EduText, a digital textbook library for students to read and learn collaboratively. Second place went to an app called She2U, which aims to make it easier for colleges and universities to identify and recruit female athletes. And third place went to Culturize, a platform for sparking, sharing and discovering culturally relevant events like protests.
“We believe that all children are born with creative potential,” Enza Academy’s Brandon Hill tells me. “Young women and young people of color who are especially creative, they often get the least opportunities to develop their innate potential. We look at structural inequalities throughout the United States, and young people of color and women are marginalized. It’s a multitrillion-dollar tragedy. It’s also a human rights thing. Everyone should have the right to be creative. How many world-changing ideas are we missing out on when the most opportunities are given to mostly straight, white males?”