We have chosen to target our efforts on teenagers of low-income, and minority groups. Why teenagers? Teenagers are old enough to understand the concepts taught, and pliable enough to change some of their behavioral patterns. Teenagers will also be able to take the concepts and principles taught to them into their college experience.
It really isn't our desire to reinvent the wheel, so instead of trying to start from "ground zero", we have chosen to work alongside other organizations that could benefit from the curriculum we offer and the workshops we provide. We believe that partnering with organizations that support our mission furthers our reach and broadens our base to effect change in a way that is synergistic and exponential.
Dimension One of the program is the instructional segment. The participants will be required to attend the Saturday sessions for 6 months. The areas covered throughout the 26 weeks are as follows:
- " Banking (4 sessions)
- " Real Estate (4 sessions)
- " Investments (4 sessions)
- " Entrepreneurship (5 sessions)
- " Career Etiquette/Life Skills (5 sessions)
- " Field Trips (4 sessions)
Within the above mentioned sessions, we will have a guest from the field of discipline for that day. For example, on the day that we discuss banking, we may have a local bank manager come in and discuss the banking industry to the students. These professionals will be those from the communities represented by the students. So, if the group is mainly Latino, then we want the students to see a bank manager of Hispanic descent, so that the students feel a sense of identity. The discussion will last for approximately 45 minutes and students will be encouraged to ask questions during the following 15-minute time slot. It should be mentioned that the students who participate will be required to dress in business attire. Young men are required to wear a shirt and tie, with dark slacks and shoes. Young ladies are required to wear dark slacks, skirt, and blouse with shoes.
Dimension Two of the program requires that each student has a part-time job. A strong work ethic is taught by examples that are set for us. However, we believe that what makes T.A.C.T. distinctive is its hands-on approach to learning. The number of hours that the student works per week is negotiable, but we suggest at least 10 hours per week, to allow the student to cultivate responsibility, and develop an appreciation for gainful employment.
This Dimension of the program is important because we want the students to see firsthand, the affects of their investment. The students will be asked to use the money they have earned to fund the projects outlined in the Entrepreneurship, Investment, and Banking sessions. For example, let's say 50 students are participating in the program. We would ask each student to contribute $20 per week into their company or fund, or CD account, etc. (It should be stressed that we don't take money from the student, we ask them to invest into their own joint venture). Over 26 weeks that is $26,000 in the hands of young trained decision makers. This exercise is done to demonstrate the direct effects of their decisions, and how the application of what they learn will benefit them. The group may decide that they want to start a landscaping company. This will involve hiring an employee, buying equipment, etc. They may want to play it safe and put it in a high-interest bearing account for one year, or even use it as venture capital toward another project. The key is we take the mystery out of business by putting the students in the midst of it. We find this to be the underlying strength behind the T.A.C.T. program- practical application that reinforces instruction.
Dimension Three is more of an administrative function than a programmatic one. T.A.C.T. will work with local employers in the placement of the students for jobs. We will also look to work with corporate sponsors to provide the business attire for the students who may not be able to afford it. These sponsors will be made aware of the societal and economic benefit of investing in these students.