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Young CEO Camp encourages enthusiastic, entrepreneurial outlook among USVI youth

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands – October 15, 2021 – The world of technology continued to be wide open with opportunities for more than 30 young people ages 11-18, their parents and guardians as they participated in the 2021 virtual Young CEO Camp with instructor and Small Business Camp President Andrew Morrison. This two-day camp, hosted by the V.I. Economic Development Authority’s Business Incubator Program - in partnership with Mr. Morrison - was held on Saturday, October 9th and Sunday, October 10th from 9AM to 3PM.

The Young CEO Camp was designed to teach young people how to make money online by using their own creativity and unique skillsets through various digital and online platforms while resolving someone’s challenges.  The first Young CEO Camp was conducted in-person by Mr. Morrison - along with the VIEDA - in 2015 on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. This virtual camp was an enriching experience for both the parents and their children.

“By parents - or guardians - allowing their children to join this Young CEO Camp, they are actually providing their child with the alternative of becoming an entrepreneur, in addition to attending college or trade school,” said Cusa Holloway, VIEDA Business Incubator Program Manager. “After participating in this camp, these young people have enhanced their skills which can also make them more valuable in the workplace. The VIEDA team, CEO Wayne L. Biggs, Jr., and I thank the parents and guardians for registering their children for this worthwhile event, especially for a weekend. We also thank Mr. Morrison for his usual, inspiring and dynamic work with our young people,” added Ms. Holloway. 

With his enthusiastic persona, Mr. Morrison fostered engaging conversations with parents, guardians and children while he demonstrated how to 1) create a vision board that reflected one’s goals and aspirations, 2) use the basic elements of graphic design, 3) understand the basic fundamentals of writing business emails, and 4) build a website for free. He also discussed how to prepare a report, create slide deck presentations through PowerPoint that display “How To …” tips, and how to brand oneself as an expert in certain fields.

“This camp was about teaching our young people how to grow as an individual, inspire themselves to be self-motivated and chase their passions, not money,” said Andrew Morrison, president of the Small Business Camp. “I’m truly passionate about helping young people, and I enjoy creating a safe environment for them to learn how to learn, make money, express themselves, solve a problem and create value for others," added Mr. Morrison. 

Mr. Morrison also challenged the students to lean on others for support, believe in themselves and “leave this [camp with the skills] to build up their community.” "It’s also important for [these children] to know when to ask for help and how to empower others,” added Mr. Morrison. 

Andrew Morrison’s counterpart, Mateo Saenz, demonstrated to the students how they can also use various digital platforms - for free - to create and edit vision boards through animated videos for themselves or others. Following all demonstrations, the students were assigned to create their own vision boards, videos and slide deck presentations. The students also received certificates for their participation in the Young CEO Camp. Many parents were equally impressed by the students’ work and quick understanding of the information they received, including parent Jeffrey Boschulte, AIA, who is a business owner in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We have a lot of talented young people here in the [U.S.] Virgin Islands. What I appreciated [during the Young CEO Camp] was the feedback Mr. Morrison gave the students after each assignment, which is important in addition to learning the technology,” said Mr. Boschulte. 

As a parent, Mr. Boschulte also offered the students some of his own advice. 

“Whatever area you are interested in, it’s important to find a mentor and get an internship or a summer job with that mentor. Don’t let your friends talk you out of your goals. Listen to your own heart about what you want to do [in life] and follow your dreams. Thank you Mr. Morrison, Mr. Mateo Sáenz and the VIEDA team for organizing this camp for our young people,” added Mr. Boschulte.

To learn more about the 2021 Young CEO Camp, send an email to Ms. Cusa Holloway at cholloway@usvieda.org or info@usvieda.org.