Entrepreneurship program sets local youth on career and educational pathway
Paul Klemm is a true success story. At 18 years old, he has already figured out hard work, self-discipline and problem solving are the keys to controlling his life. How does one so young know so much about success?
It’s a complicated story, according to Klemm.
At age 14, Klemm was in trouble and on probation. One day, he showed up for a routine test and his probation officer asked him if he wanted to take a class to help him get off of probation sooner. It started in five minutes. Klemm, wanting to do whatever it took to get off of probation, agreed.
“I did it just to get out,” he said. “After the first day I realized I really wanted to do the class.”
The class was the New Entrepreneur, or New E, program authored by Jeff Glass, a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur who’s currently penning entrepreneurial curriculum called Generation U for the state of Nevada.
New E, sponsored by the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation, has been taught by Glass at Carson High School and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada since February 2015. Glass will complete the New E curriculum through the end of the school year before launching Generation U.
“Generation U is all about the theory of generativity,” Glass said. “We all want to give back, to do work that matters. It’s about generating revenue and leaving a legacy for the next generation.”
Glass said Carson City and the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation has been an ideal springboard for his entrepreneurial curriculum, which teaches problem solving, networking and relationship skills and techniques for job searching and job readiness.
“You don’t change the culture of a city without touching all four corners,” he said. “Private schools, public schools, the probation department and the Boys & Girls Club are all areas where our youth can be learning how to problem solve, which is at the heart of entrepreneurship. I’m grateful for the opportunities the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation provided to me and to the youth of Carson City.”
Glass said the juvenile probation department has embraced the concept of entrepreneurship education as a cornerstone of probation programming.
“The goal is to have better relationships with family and community in perpetuity,” he said. “How many problems do we have without a relationship attached to it? When you build better relationships, you build better opportunities.”
Ali Banister, deputy chief juvenile probation officer for Carson City juvenile probation services, said the program is important to youth in the juvenile justice system because it teaches them skills they’re not likely to learn as teenagers, such how to prepare and interview for a job and what employers are looking for.
“During the program, the students also learn valuable skills such as the importance of treating others with respect, having integrity and following through with goals they have set,” she said. “Jeff has done an amazing job with this program, as he works wonderfully with the students. I’ve seen firsthand how the youth respect him, relate to him and really buy into the program.”
Upon conclusion of his term in the probation program, Klemm applied to be part of the New E Network alumni club at Carson High School, and was elected New E Club secretary/treasurer.
“Jeff is great teacher, he relates well to us,” he said. “He taught me how to work with people. I walked away with more initiative to start a business, more resources — a team, more motivation to own a small business, be my own boss someday.”
Klemm is working at Jamba Juice and is training to be a manager. He wants to own multiple businesses someday; a barber shop is on his mind. He said he got his first clippers at age 13 and started doing his own hair, then his friends’ hair and his friends’ dads’ hair.
“It’s artwork,” he said.
Klemm credits the program with helping him turn his life around, providing him with resources, skills and a network he can count on.
“Life is different now, I am different now,” he said. “I have better self-control, I’m more aware of problems. I wasn’t thinking of the consequences. Probation educated me. I was letting things, friends influence me in a bad way. It opened my eyes and I’ve taken control of my life.”