Social enterprise Juma Ventures is bridging the opportunity gap for low-income youth.
It’s a vicious cycle. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely as adults to have low earnings, which increases the likelihood that they will remain poor and, in turn, raise their children in poverty. It’s a cycle that affects more than just the poor trapped inside it. A less productive workforce combined with the high cost of “treating” poverty instead of “curing” it can have a devastating impact on economies and societies alike.
Statistics don’t lie: The high school drop-out rate for students with a family income below $20,000 is more than three times that of students with a family income over $50,000. Higher education is a proven pathway out of poverty and yet only 47% of low-income youth who graduate from high school enter a university or college (compared to 85% in the top income quartile), and only 20% complete their degree.
The good news | We have a solution. Juma Ventures is an innovative and award-winning youth development program that combines employment in social enterprises, college preparation, and financial asset building to create a safe, supportive community where under-resourced youth can achieve their dreams of a college education. Despite the many challenges facing Juma students, they possess significant assets. They are resilient, positive and show great determination in the pursuit of their goals, continually demonstrating tremendous promise and success when provided with opportunities to excel. That’s why we’re here: to provide these students with the tools and resources they need to overcome barriers, maximize their personal assets, and successfully transition into a life of higher education and greater success.
Looking for something simpler? Juma is in the running to win popchips Game Changers: Athletes Hungry for Change contest. The prize? Support from San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum. If Juma wins, we will “hire” Tim to hawk ice cream at AT&T Park, where we operate one of our social enterprises. More than sell ice cream and corndogs—Tim will help break the cycle of poverty by ensuring that young people complete a four-year college degree. Vote once a day until May 20: http://is.gd/qd6wcF
Learn more about Juma and how you can get involved: juma.org