BOOST Network Member Profile
Since 2016, the Kids Can Entrepreneurship Program has helped students across Southern New Mexico learn critical personal and professional life skills that are vital to their educational and personal development. Our interactive programs, events, and workshops at local schools introduce youth to entrepreneurism and business concepts and help them develop their financial acumen, while teaching them valuable leadership and public speaking skills.
At Kids Can, young people learn how to take an idea and turn it into a real sustainable business. Our mentors guide students as they develop their businesses from concept to reality and experience the ups and downs of entrepreneurship during weekend workshops, afterschool enrichment programs, and summer camps. Every month, 20 of these young entrepreneurs participate in our Kids Can Junior Vendor Program, which gives them the opportunity to showcase their businesses at the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market and practice the skills they have learned by talking directly to customers and selling their products. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we helped students explore the worlds of e-commerce and online marketing.
In 2019, Kids Can became a key program of the Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico, which helped us scale our program to reach 300 youth annually from all corners of Doña Ana County, including Hatch, Santa Teresa, and Gadsden. As we grew, we empowered the young people we work with to help us develop a curriculum and identify the topics and challenges that most interested them. This hands-on approach has allowed local students to create innovative solutions and products for today’s marketplace. Kids Can exposes young people to many critical business concepts, but the most important skills they learn are self-confidence, resilience, and critical thinking, all of which will sustain them in college and beyond.
“The BOOST Network has amazing training opportunities that are aligned with our goals and programming. They listen to members and host meetings covering topics critical to our continued success, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Afterschool programs are so important, and when we collaborate and work together, we make that much more of an impact on the youth we serve. We are just stronger together.” - April Christensen, Program Director.