Latino Club members participate in youth business opportunity

Program led by Centro Tyrone Guzman


Photo used with written permission from Centro Tyrone Guzman

Marta Hill, Hadeal Rizeq, and Katie Hardie

Junior Braulio Vela-Garay said his interest in working in the business industry became a reality after seeing people from a local youth organization visit the Latino Boys’ Club discuss chances to be involved in business.

“(Adviser Daniel) Perez brought the people from the organization,” Vela-Garay said.”Business is actually one of the careers I’m looking into getting into, (and) I want to see if there’s something I’d want to focus more into.”

Adviser Daniel Perez said students will work on business planning and maintaining leadership skills with a local organization.

“The program is going to work with latino students of any gender and provide money for them to start a business,” Perez said. “Centro (Tyrone Guzman), the organization that runs the program, will give them money and put them into teams. And the kiddos will be in charge of developing a business idea, and putting their idea into practice.”

According to Perez, this program is unique because of the experience students are able to receive.

“I don’t think we have a lot of programs that just give you free money to start your own business, but more than that it’s that piece of working in teams (and) learning how to budget,” Perez said.

Vela-Garay said it is beneficial to see progress in his work  throughout his experience in developing his business.

“(Getting the chance) to see all (of) the opportunities and all the tasks we can get done and see how far we can get (is good),” Vela-Garay said. “(Part of the program is) where we create our own business to see how far we can get.”

Perez said that students will not only be gaining experience, but they will also be exposed to new ideas.

“They will be meeting kids who don’t go to St. Louis Park, who live in other cities, who go to different schools, and they will be able to not only gain different perspective but also new ideas that arise from this endeavor,” Perez said. “So I am excited to see how the students from Park respond. I think it is really important that students participate because there is a plethora of knowledge and opportunities that will come from (participating).”

Vela-Garay said he hopes the business opportunity helps him become more involved in work and gain communication skills.

“(I want to be) a lot more social. I like to talk with people, but I’m a bit shy,” Vela-Garay said. “(I want) to see if I can open up a bit more into the business world, would be great. Experience too.”

According to Perez, this commitment is beneficial towards post-secondary options.

“It is an extracurricular activity that can definitely go on a resume, or a college application, they can get letters of recommendation,” Perez said.