OKLAHOMA CITY – State Senator Kevin Matthews is inviting local business owners and community partners to attend an event in support for the Entrepreneur Shadow Program in Tulsa. The event will be held tomorrow, Thursday, July 2 at 10AM at the Rudisill Regional Library, located at 1520 N. Hartford in Tulsa.
According to Matthews, who developed the program in conjunction with the 100 Black Men organization in 2012 when he was elected to the House of Representatives, the goal of this program continues to focus on reducing gang violence and teen pregnancy through partnering with local businesses and other community leaders.
“By keeping young people from being unsupervised and focused on positive programs like this, the hope is to create a different path from one that could lead to gang violence and teen pregnancy,” said Matthews, D- Tulsa. “In a district that suffers from high unemployment numbers, we have a great need for more small businesses. One of the goals in giving our young people a positive alternative to violence and teen pregnancy is to provide an opportunity to learn from community leaders and employers and teach them how to be job creators for themselves.”
Matthews said there are currently 33 young people participating in the program, with a goal of 60 in the future. Each participant earns a stipend for their work, which averages about 12 hours a week. In addition to the work experience, the teenagers participate in a financial literacy program provided in conjunction with Career Tech, which teaches them how to effectively manage the money they earn.
Matthews said the group has also recently partnered with Workforce Tulsa to further expand the Entrepreneur Shadowing program to include additional opportunities with Hillcrest Medical Center, Tulsa Shock, Tulsa SPCA, Youth at Heart, KJMM radio, and the Oklahoma Eagle newspaper.
“I want to thank the local organizations for their support of this program,” said Matthews. With all the negativity in the news lately, we need to make sure we’re taking time to celebrate the positives in our community partners and our young people for the future of our district, the city and our state.”
Other businesses involved include Sweet Lisa’s Café, Abears on Greenwood, the Greenwood Chamber, Mom Security with Dean Finley and Derek Lewis, Tropical Smoothie, the UPS Store, and several others.
Sen. Matthews invites the press and the public out to meet the large number of community businesses and partners that make this program possible.