Teen entrepreneurs start social justice-related businesses as part of class for college credit

Whatever It Takes program teaches business basics
Posted at 9:13 PM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 12:38:09-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A group of San Diego teenagers will present startup business plans to community members Thursday night as part of graduation from the Whatever It Takes program.

The 9-month course teaches the teens how to build a business from the ground up, and it focuses the teens' attention on using business to make the world a better place.

"I love seeing kids take that thing they're really interested in, maybe a hobby, and using it for good and maybe even making some money along the way," said WIT Program Creator Sarah Hernholm.

This year, the projects include an art therapy class for teens, a documentary on the homeless in San Diego and a book of advice from successful adults.

"I wanted to ask people what they'd say if they could talk to their 16-year-old self," said Layne Faltinsky, the teen behind the book "Project 16."

She became interested in the WIT program after seeing the graduation presentations last year. By the time she "graduates" on Thursday night, she'll be a published author.

"It gives you so many opportunities to do whatever you want to do," Faltinsky said.

At the end of the course, the students also get college credit. The class is accredited by UC San Diego, and the teens get 6 transferable credit hours.

"We want teens to learn at a young age that you can launch a business that makes an impact," said Hernholm, who started the program four years ago.

Teens can apply at for the coming school year.