“Boss Up 101” a nonprofit program providing entrepreneurial development and community engagement opportunities to students in grades 9-12, with a focus on student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Boss Up 101 was created in direct response to the growing number of young people that falling through the cracks after graduation.
Our goal is to expose young adults to the possibilities of entrepreneurship and enrich their lives through real time coaching, mentoring, and intern opportunities. We believe by exposing the students to the option of entrepreneurship we can get them planning for the future and with an open mind we will teach them how to own a piece of it.
Our mission is to provide minority youth in grades 9-12, with a focus on student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with empire-building practices and real-time experiences to help them grow and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit to become productive thriving business owners who bring value to their community.
Boss Up 101's vision is to develop youth's passion and skills to succeed in business and life. To achieve this vision, we will:
Nurture the entrepreneurial spirit
Provide practical business experiences and opportunities
Stimulate economic thinking skills
Encourage creative, intelligent risk-taking and out of the box thinking
Instill independence and personal responsibility
I am Chinika Mickens-Miller, a wife, business professional and a mother of 5. One of my children happens to be a 17-year-old with a speech impediment and a history of foster care. Upon my entering high school, I met with his teachers and was told that although he had great potential he was unable to keep up the class curriculum. At first, I was in denial, and thought all he needed was a little more support, encouragement and some strict guidance. First semester report cards were distributed and he failed all but one class. Now alarmed, I met with the educators again to discuss alternatives.
After weighing all our options, we decided to enroll him in the Special Education Program at his school. This program ensured that he would be able to get the one-on-one support he needed with a modified curriculum. The down side to being in this program is that he will not be receiving a traditional diploma. The type of diploma he would receive will not allow him to enroll in a traditional university or join the military. So why did I agree to this??? Hold on I’m getting there…
While speaking with my son concerning this very important decision, I asked him about his plans after graduation. He very quickly yelled out, "I want to be a Basketball Player!!" What did you expect from a 15-year-old? So, I asked, what will be your plan b…if you can’t be a basketball player, enroll college or join the military? I wasn’t at all prepared for his next response…"I want to start a program and open a home for kids like me. He wants to teach them life skills through sports and mentoring." Wow…I really wasn’t ready. I quickly regained my composure and thought, we can do this! You don’t have to be an A/B student to be an entrepreneur and you don’t have to have a traditional diploma to live a life of service. I immediately began looking for programs that would give him a real-time/real life look into entrepreneurship and I couldn’t find any that supported his disability….so we decided to start our own.
Originating in 2017, Boss Up 101's primary goal is to focus on those youths who may be struggling in school, who may not be headed to college, and do not quite know what direction they want to go. Although academics are an important focus in the program it is not our principal focus. Our primary emphasis is to expose these young adults to the possibility of starting and successfully growing a business.