Ark Entrepreneurial Center partners with the Citizen Newspaper Group to prepare young moguls for the Black Women’s Expo

Dr. Noah Nicholson II, President of The ARK and Pastor of The Family Worship Center, as well as President/CEO of Global Investments, teaches the children about Stock Investing and Leadership
Development. Photos by Nicole Ashley Gee
Dr. Noah Nicholson II, President of The ARK and Pastor of The Family Worship Center, as well as President/CEO of Global Investments, teaches the children about Stock Investing and Leadership Development. Photos by Nicole Ashley Gee

Ark Entrepreneurial Center partners with the Citizen Newspaper Group to prepare young moguls for the Black Women’s Expo
 
By Tia Carol Jones
Sunny Davis Nicholson wanted to create a place where young people would learn skills that would set them up for future success. Davis Nicholson started Ark Entrepreneurial Center, located at 2458 S. Millard Ave. She describes it as a youth business school.

As CEO of Ark Entrepreneurial Center, Davis-Nicholson forsees that with automation, a lot of jobs won’t exist in the future. The goal of Ark Entrepreneurial Center is to develop a program for young people, ages 7-18, and teach them skills that will allow them to be successful later in life. Programs include web design, graphic design and app development.

“To have kids come to a program where they learn about business, they take classes in business development, they take financial literacy … They take all of these classes from people in the community that’s willing to pour into our children,” she said.

Through repetition, hands-on projects and project-based learning, the children are able to retain what they have learned. It leaves a lasting impact on them. At the end of each session, what the children learned is posted on social media.

Some children don’t have skills and they learn a skill. Others have a skill and don’t know how to market it. That’s where experts in marketing come in to teach those children.  The expert’s range in talent from performers to graphic designers, as well as small businesses owners.

Davis Nicholson found that the children’s parents were willing to send them to the program, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She was able to reassure the parents it was a safe and nurturing environment for their children to attend. Once the parents talked to their children and sat in on the classes and saw the knowledge they were retaining, they were in awe.

In order to do market research, Davis Nicholson went to barber shops and beauty shops to see if parents would be interested in sending their children to a place where they could learn skills and learn how to market their skills. She has to educate the parents while educating the students.

Davis Nicholson is excited about the stock investment classes. Children learn about investing and using the money they earned while working with One Summer Chicago and the Free Lunch Academy.


Children who are in the program will be at the Black Women’s Expo, which is set for Aug. 20-22, at McCormick Place. Some will have their own booths where they will sell their goods and the others will represent the Citizen Newspaper Group as mini bosses.  They will demonstrate the different aspects of operating a newspaper such as publishing, marketing, and distribution.    We are excited for this unique opportunity to partner with the Ark Entrepreneurial Center and to be able to donate our booth to foster the skill sets of young future business entrepreneurs, said Garth.  Being a past foundation executor, we found that it was vital to strike the attention of children at an early age versus getting them at a more advanced age. The children have been busy learning about the history and mission of the newspaper. The children are ready for their first day as future publishers.

“My kid is coming home talking about investing in stock. My kid is coming home ready to start a business. My kid is coming home ready to capitalize on a skill they already have and now they know how to create a business from the skills they have …,” she said. “Through this organization they’re learning to do that. ”

For more information on Ark Entrepreneurial Center, visit www.arkec.org.

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