100 Young Entrepreneurs Impacted by a STEM Curriculum in Puerto Rico

Aguadilla, PR, June 16, 2021 --(PR.com)-- A hundred young entrepreneurs -- public school students from ages nine to 12 with a high economic need -- were positively impacted in 2020 by the SEEDS program developed by the nonprofit organization Friends of Puerto Rico.

The unemployment rate for people in Puerto Rico between the ages of 15 and 24 is about 24% and this number will only increase as "currently six out of 10 Puerto Rican children live below the poverty line, which translates into 56% of the island's child population," said Angelique Sina, president of Friends of Puerto Rico.

Based on the United Nations Sustainable development goals, SEEDS is a STEM curriculum that includes 36 weeks of study using coffee as a tool of learning. The students from Vieques, Barranquitas, Aibonito, Toa Baja, and Guaynabo created their own businesses. The 2020 Class had five teachers and 22 mentors resulting in 83 graduates that launched 25 SEEDS Biz.

In a live stream, Friends of Puerto Rico, which supports entrepreneurial initiatives, education, and creating opportunities for women and girls on the island, presented their 2020 Impact Report that recounts, with interesting facts and statistics, facing the projections through education. The report included the economic impact generated by their businesses, experiential moments with media coverage, and the journey of two SEEDS students from Puerto Rico to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The event featured the testimonies of teachers, parents, and students that shared their experience and how the SEEDS program has impacted their families.

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"It is an experience that touches the heart. I am from Toa Baja, and it is something special to be able to see the youth, the focus they have, and the level of passion. I see it as a duty. Each entrepreneur must seek to support others not only financially but also by sharing their experience so that others can grow," expressed Felix Serrano, CEO of Activus Connect, sponsor and mentor of SEEDS.

Juan Garcia, Vice President of Midas Education, and Desiree Mieses, Managing Partner of Lumiere Bay, Inc., highlighted their roles as mentors to the SEEDS students. They invite companies and individuals to join the cause and support programs like SEEDS.

"This snapshot of what we achieved in 2019–2020 has been possible only with the support of our partners, friends, and team. Thank you to our volunteers, teachers, and sponsors like PenFed Credit Union, Leap Global Partners, Activus Connect and those who prefer anonymity," concludes Angelique Sina.

The organization is developing new projects and on July 3, the 2021 Class will graduate.

To get involved you can donate, become a mentor, invite them to your community, host a marketplace. For more information, visit friendsofpuertorico.org.
Friends of Puerto Rico
Alejandra Martinez