Incubator fosters young social entrepreneurs


Incubator fosters young social entrepreneurs

Information: Turning Points and Stepping Stones,


Incubators and accelerators are all the rage in Atlanta’s entrepreneurship community - helping budding startups become full fledged companies. But GivingPoint, a local nonprofit, is planting the seed of entrepreneurship early - in high school students.

GivingPoint is a nonprofit incubator program helping teenagers become social entrepreneurs.

“We help young people answer the complex and personal question, ‘What are you passionate about?’ “ said Derek Smith, founder of GivingPoint. “By first identifying the issues students are passionate about, we’re enabling them to have a more meaningful impact on their communities.”

Brianna Perry and Jabari Turner, both seniors at Booker T. Washington High School and founders of Turning Points and Stepping Stones, a teen development program are perfect examples.

“As teenagers ourselves, we see what needs to be instilled in us to make our transition from adolescence to adulthood much easier. Living in a low-income community, we saw that there was a low graduation rate and high unemployment rate. Most people would think that it was because of a lack of resources, but it was a lack of knowledge of how to use and access opportunities,” said Turner.

They developed segments such as self-efficiency, where T.P.S.S. incorporates home etiquette, managing personal accounts, setting long- and short-term goals and making healthy, informed decisions. The financial literacy segment focuses on banking, investing, budgeting, and debt. There are also education and mental, physical and emotional health segments.

“Education is very important, but in the meantime life goes on and we teach students how to manage life in between classes,” added Perry.

The organization hosts varieties of programming and is always welcoming connections and partnerships to continue the positive impact of the program on its youth. T.P.S.S. was founded last year and has served 35 students.

T.P.S.S. supports GivingPoint’s philopsopy that, “every person has a ‘spark’ inspiring pursuit of something greater than ourselves,” added Smith. GivingPoint’s resources are currently used by more than 9,000 youth, nonprofits, and donors, and its students have accomplished more than 650,000 hours in service and more than $15 million in total community impact.

In other news: The Bert Show is seeking handwritten letters for its “Big Thank You” campaign that gives thanks to all the men and women that serve our country. The annual effort aims to provide every service person deployed outside the United States with a handwritten Thank You letter on Thanksgiving Day. All letters must be submitted by Oct. 28. Information:

Who’s doing good?Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at

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