Vote for local youth to receive $50,000 to transform the community

by A. H., Published October 22, 2010

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The B. Side: The Business Side of Youth, a grant-funded program of Eastern Michigan University's Office of Academic Service-Learning (AS-L), is competing for a $50,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project. Each month beginning in January through December 2010, Pepsi is giving away over a million dollars to businesses, nonprofits, and individuals to make a positive impact in their community through their ideas. There are four different categories: $5K, $25K , $50K, and $250K. The top 10 vote getters, except within the $250K, will get the prize, upon final verification and approval from Pepsi.

The B. Side has submitted a project for B. Side of A(arts) (Business Side of Art), a program where youth are introduced to such fields as graphic design, fashion design, music production, digital animation, and culinary arts. Youth participate in intensive hands-on skills-training in an area, which is integrated with entrepreneurship education. Through this intersection of arts and entrepreneurship, they gain the necessary tools and skills to create their own product/service, launch an enterprise, and develop the critical connections and networks in their areas of interest. The B. Side of A. takes a youth's passion, improves his/her skills and presents business opportunity.

B. Side of A. was first launched in summer 2009 with great success through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), was operated in summer 2010 as a limited work experience through a partnership with Michigan Works! and has operated as a one day skills-development format. In all formats, youth ultimately were able to create products which they were able to sell and/or market.

Voting is happening now and can be done in one of two ways:

Go to:, register and vote for the B. Side of A(arts) program. You can also TEXT 102979 to 73774. You can vote once a day per project up to 10 total votes per day. Voting ends October 31. Winners are officially announced within a month of voting close.

The B. Side is requesting the support of the EMU and greater community by voting once a day every day till October 31! Voting can be done by text, via online, or through a FB application from the Pepsi Refresh website.

The B. Side is a program of EMU's Office of Academic Service-Learning and is supported through grant funds by Washtenaw County ETCS, RNR Foundation, and The Coleman Foundation. The B. Side: The Business Side of Youth incubates ideas and projects of youth to foster a culture of entrepreneurship. These projects are supported through enterprise, business education, and mentor relationships, which teach self-sufficiency and the initiative in realizing their self-defined goal.


A. H.

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