Over the course of the fall semester, Aquinas Center’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) has been working with undergraduate students in the Wharton School of Business to develop a brand, logo, and marketing plan for their business ventures. The program launched in mid-summer with a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and focuses on youth-led activities to promote economic justice. The Wharton support was provided pro-bono.
Aquinas youth, local high school students, met eachThursday afternoon from September to November to determine the essence of their brand. As Carid Maranan, the program coordinator explains, “It came down to a sense of being together. Some teens come from all over the world and some were born right here in Philly. What they have in common is this place, Aquinas Center. It is a place where we can invite others to join us to do good things for the neighborhood.”
Several brainstorming discussions produced one word that captures this idea of companionship and journeying together: kasama. Kasama comes from tagalog, a language of the Philippines, which some of our teens speak. Jessica Kim, the student leader of the Wharton team stated, “MUSE Community Service Consulting collaborated with the Youth Entrepreneurship Program to help build their brand that reflects their multicultural diversity and create a sustainable, long-term marketing strategy.”
The Kasama brand and logo will be applied across the YEP ventures, which include a cafe during the winter months, garden related sales in the growing season, and eventually a shelf stable food product such as a global hot sauce line. Youth will continue to meet with–and be mentored by–immigrant small business owners in Philadelphia as they develop their own business skills.
All are invited to the teens pop-up cafe on Tuesday, December 20th from 3-5PM in the dining room at Aquinas Center. Future dates include Saturday, January 7th and Thursday, January 26th.