ConnCAT/QU Entrepreneurial Academy aims to close gaps in knowledge, exposure, experience, and understanding that restrain minorities from business ownership and growth. The objective is to inspire New Haven and Hamden youth and adults to consider business ownership as a viable way to provide a better life for their families and help transform their communities by creating employment opportunities. Over the course of a school year, students foster their business idea, learn the steps to move the concept to reality, and gain an understanding of how to market the new business. Students gain experience in presentation skills, business leadership, marketing, writing a business plan, and understanding business financials. Youth students travel to the New York Stock Exchange and regional businesses as exposure to the business world, while adult learners attend weekly thematic sessions. All Academy students complete and present a Capstone Project of their businesses. The goal of ConnCAT’s Entrepreneurial Academy is to help students feel empowered and educated enough to develop and own a business.
Through this six-week program, youth from the Greater New Haven area are exposed to the artists, themes, social contexts, and political issues surrounding this defining era in American history. Youth participants work with local artists to create original art that expresses their engagement with the social issues of concern through the lens of the Harlem Renaissance. Photography, digital media, music production, spoken word, dance, and drama are among the art forms the young people have an opportunity to experiment with as means of expression. The purpose of this program is to saturate young people with arts in a manner that allows them to develop and express their ideas, concerns, and passions. Setting the program in the Harlem Renaissance fosters the idea of art for the sake of collective consciousness, social development, and community activism. Registration and enrollment usually begins in April and is on a first come, first serve basis.
The youth after school program is designed for children in grades 5 through 8 from the New Haven and Hamden Public School systems. Our purpose is to inspire and motivate children to exceed artistic, academic and personal expectations through arts instruction and relationship cultivation. It is driven by five principals; self-discovery, creativity, production/exhibition, and market driven skills/entrepreneurship. Instructors develop lesson plans that focus on the development of marketable skills with a consistent underlying theme of collaboration and innovation. Registration and enrollment is ongoing throughout the school year, based on space. Participants attend the program from 3 to 5 days a week from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.