ABC7 Unite: Teen teaches business lessons to foster kids through baking

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A 17-year-old on Long Island started a program to teach foster kids about starting their own business - and everything is centered around baking.

For Kailey Perkins, the CEO and founder of Young Entrepreneur Scholars, cupcakes and cookies are the hook.

"I wanted to teach them something, give them something they could use in their life, I like sweets and I'm sure other kids like doing that too," Perkins said.

Perkins' students are 12-20 years old in foster care in Brooklyn, and her lessons are all business: from budgets to advertising to branding.

Before COVID, she would bake with the kids and teach in person. Since the summer though, she has kept things cooking on the computer instead.

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For example, she talks about how much one cookie costs to make and how much they could make by selling 10 of them. They also talk brands and company names too.

And then the young entrepreneurs come up with their own business names.

"They see their friends come back with these tote bags and these cookies that they've decorated, and they can't wait for their turn to participate in the program," said Nyrekia White-Mayers with Little Flower Family Services.

The business-scholars get fired up because these are real lessons in starting a business -- and they can't ever say that they aren't using what they've learned.

Perkins has pulled together all kinds of tote bags and cookie tins and sends over baked cookies that the kids can decorate on their own.

She tries to keep the lessons fun while building confidence.

"A lot of challenges we have to overcome but I just want to give these kids some fun and education and something that they can learn that they will take with them through life," she said. "Hopefully, maybe some of them will start bakeshops when they're older."

A recipe for dreams that start to happen with support, teamwork and specific plans.

ALSO READ | Long Island teen creates crafts program for kids in homeless shelters
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Lauren Glassberg reports on the crafty 14-year-old from Roslyn.


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