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BossUp#EYECON, Baltimore’s premiere Youth Entrepreneurship Conference

Taiha Greenfield | 3/10/2017, 6 a.m. | Updated on 3/9/2017, 1:28 p.m.
Engaging Youth Entrepreneurs for Change (#EYECON) was created by Natasha Muhammad while she was a student at Morgan State University.

The phrase “boss up” is often used to refer to challenging a peer to “step up their game” or to “rise” to the next level. This column will highlight youth and their businesses and will provide

resources that will hopefully inspire youth to “boss up” and start, operate or grow a business.

Last year, was my first time attending #EYECON, premier youth entrepreneurship conference held at Morgan State University annually. I just happened to be there to support my friend Ka’Mel

Lauryn, another Morgan State University student.

I was amazed by what I saw. There were so many youth engaged and enjoying an event covering intense subject matter in a formal setting. Some youth think conference and believe that it will be nothing but random adults, who have “made something of themselves,” giving advice on making sound career choices. I did not get that vibe from the youth in attendance at all. They came in with smiles and shirts beaming the term EN-TRE-PRE-NEUR in a pageantry of colors, young people (my age and younger) were there as vendors promoting and showing their own businesses

and so much more. This event was bubbling with resources and information to help both the seasoned and aspiring young entrepreneurs. Even if one of the fun-filled, information workshops doesn’t capture youth's interest, sure thing, there are a variety of activities happening throughout the day to assure every in attendee leaves motivated to boss up. Yup, the workshops were fun

and filled with useful information that could be a great resource for the future. The conference was so thorough that it showcased work from Baltimore’s artist community. If you are between the ages of 10 to 18, you want to be included in this conference.

I would have to say that, if I could have gone to an event like this when I was younger, I would have at least been one step closer to finding out what I wanted to do as a career. Think about it. The way the world can be seen is like a big canvas. Color strokes here and there. They can be red, blue, yellow, and then get even more extravagant. The strokes, the dots, the thin lines, or whatever can be your mark in the world. Whatever, we choose to do is our business. It’s just whether we are running it or being run over. We need more organizations like #Eyecon that may help to prepare us for a global economy.

“Engaging Youth Entrepreneurs for Change,” was created by Natasha Muhammad while she was a student at Morgan State University.

Now in its twelfth year, the objective for #EYECON is to provide youth with different ways to pursue entrepreneurship as a career option. The conference also shows youth how to create an entrepreneurial attitude to excel and remain competitive in the workforce. #EYECON is a play on the word "icon" and "EYE conference."

Youth are challenged to be the image and the symbol of excellence in entrepreneurship. Not only will youth receive skills around entrepreneurship and financial education, they will be introduced to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

STEM at #EYECON focuses on learning about 3-D printing, how to build apps, and the science and math behind DJing. This year's #EYECON will focus on activities around robotics and led by

youth. The workforce of the future will require young people to demonstrate skills and expertise when pursuing careers in STEM and entrepreneurship. The aim is to make sure the children

understand the importance of STEM and pursue entrepreneurial endeavors in the field. #EYECON will take place on Thursday, May 4, 2017 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m, at a Morgan State University. More information is available at: www.eyeforchange.org or at eyeforchange on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter or call 443-885-3663