August 16, 2004 – Over 100 young people and a few adults were given advice on achieving personal wealth at a Youth Entrepreneur Seminar Saturday at the St. Croix Educational Complex.
Jamila Harris, author of two financial management books, 'Create Income With or Without a Job' and 'How to make BIG $MONEY$ with Your Small Business' counseled the students on how to create "keeper" accounts, creating and maximizing their earning potential and putting their money to work for them.
Andre Brady, the keynote speaker, is one of the leading experts in financial education, creative financing and wealth management. Brady challenged the youth to look beyond their perceived limitations to achieve wealth.
Senate president David S. Jones sponsored the seminar. "I want to instill the concept of being business owners in our youth, rather then ask someone for a job, youth can create their own jobs." Jones said. Saturday's program was a precursor to the after-school program that Jones will establish in public schools this year.
V.I. businesswoman, Jamila Harris imparted nuggets of advice to the students; "Readers are leaders, entrepreneurship is the key to wealth, see and seize the opportunities, keep ten percent of all money that passes through your hands, nothing comes easy and successful people put a lot of work into their projects."
Harris engaged the youth with a high energy presentation, explaining how to use the internet for conducting business, the proper use of credit cards, and how to make your money work for them. Harris is the founder of the Kids in Business Program, which began in Atlanta, Ga., and is now operating in St. Thomas. The program, geared to youth 10 to 18 years old, is an after-school program designed to help participants write a business plan and apply successful business practices.
"Learn to think for yourself, wealth is a habit," Harris told the audience.
Brady, a self-made multi millionaire, founded the Andre Brady Organization, an international institution promoting economic empowerment. Brady shared his systematic approach to achieving wealth. "It's a process that can be duplicated by anyone if they are willing," he said.
"The number one disease in the country is not cancer or heart disease, its broke-itis and the language of people suffering from broke-itis is excuse-itis," said Brady. He schooled the students on the seven principles of wealth, which include, "pay yourself first, guard your assets from loss, and increase your ability to earn."
"Wealth is a learned behavior, unfortunately, so is poverty," Brady said.
Jones was optimistic about the future of the young entrepreneurs, "We will see the fruits of our labor and the result of the after-school program on our youth as we cultivate a new breed of wealthy entrepreneurs in the Virgin Islands," he said.
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