PECO Youth Entrepreneurship Program

Posted by on September 8, 2008

PECO seeks young entrepreneurs to ‘light the way’

With the support of PECO, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Center for Youth Development has issued a Request for Applications  to support existing community-based, faith-based, or school-based out-of-school time programs that already demonstrate effectiveness in helping middle and early high school students stay in school, improve their academic performance, and begin to explore career options and plan for their futures.

It is the intent of this RFA to select youth programs that can demonstrate the potential to increase awareness of the importance of enterprising skills and opportunities for youth entrepreneurship by providing youth with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to determine if starting and growing a business is right for them, now or in the future. Agencies that have participated in the PECO project in the past will receive priority in the selection process, but must meet criteria to be eligible.

This RFA process will be extended to other agencies that can demonstrate that they will be able to achieve the program goals and criteria. Proposed programs must demonstrate capacity in the areas of: program design, management structure, youth outreach/ recruitment/ engagement strategies, participant eligibility determination, community support and partnerships, outcomes and performance measures, program sustainability, project budget, and reporting and record management.

PECO Lighting the Way: It’s Cool to Stay in School is an out-of-school-time program that is devoted to 6th through 10th graders who exhibit early warning signs of drop-out potential.

Since middle and early high school is a crucial time in children’s school careers and an important opportunity to propel children down the track towards high school graduation, PECO Energy has partnered with United Way to enrich out-of-school time programs targeting this population.

The PECO program utilizes a hands-on project-based approach to learning in addition to a technology-based entrepreneurship curriculum produced by Education, Training and Enterprise Center, Inc. that includes career exploration and awareness activities Students will learn about entrepreneurship through case studies, field trips, and presentations by employees of PECO, economic development specialists, investors, community members and practicing entrepreneurs.

Program operation is site-specific with each site determining program operation, design, and goals. In the past 3-4 years the initiative has benefited more than 772 middle and high school youth from low-income neighborhoods served by eight different programs.

Download the full RFA package here:

Proposals due September 30, 2008

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