On February 12, high school students in the tri-state area were afforded an opportunity to experience an enriching workshop at Microsoft in New York City. Aside from learning their usual curriculum, students as young as eleven years of age, attended a series of seminars focusing on personal growth and career development.
This event was designed to help students formulate and perfect a 3-minute presentation commonly known as an "elevated pitch." Throughout the morning, towards the mid-afternoon, the students would have acquired the basic skill set necessary to compact a brief and marketable speech to any audience. With an incentive of two X Box game systems, students took out their pens and notepads and tediously focused on the speakers' words and advice.
At the start of the event, CNN Commentator and Community Activist, Ryan Mack, introduced the young crowd to several financial empowerment principles as well as functional information about maintaining credits scores and budgeting. All About Business, a versatile group of college students, founded by Mack, also accompanied him in speaking to the students.
Later on in the workshop, the association covered another segment that introduced the seven steps to financial freedom. All About Business Community Service Director, Kareem Hertzog said, "This was another great opportunity for us to spread financial literacy to the youth and as we continue to expand, we hope to captivate a global presence and really have an impact on people's lives."
Microsoft program coordinator, Gina Davis, mainly directed attention to the advantages of internet usage. Davis explained how the internet can be used as a marketing platform and urged the students to market themselves in positive ways. In an effort to teach youth how to stay mindful on social networking sites, Davis also highlighted cases that dealt with child pornography and child abduction.
Davis said, "I am very excited and encouraged by all the participation of the high schools that came out today and I hope they take something from this experience."
Author, scholar, and entrepreneur, Randall Pinkett illustrated the vital role and value of education by sharing his success story. His goal was to motivate the audience to be producers of technology opposed to consumers of technology.
"Necessity is the mother of invention," said Pinkett as he enlightened the students about their innate ability to see opportunities other people don't see.
After the speakers left words of encouragement among the students, they had a chance to work on their individual pitches within smaller groups to efficiently incorporate what they learned. As the students stood lined in the front of the convention room, their presentations where consecutively heard by Microsoft personnel and other guests of the event. Everyone had an opportunity to participate and share their accomplishments and goals for the future.
Student, Gabrielle Louis, asserts, "I never realized how useful technology was until today. Even if I don't go home with the X Box, I will still leave knowing how important I am to society and the potential I have to change the world."
Written By Octaviar Latty, Freshman at York College and Reporter for Ryan Mack's Youth Financial Literacy Group All About Business