Our story of impact, told in pictures

Be! an Entrepreneur is all about making skills come ALIVE. Every week, after reading a magical story in class, children go out into their communities and make a project. A project that helps them practice the skill they’ve just learned, to answer big questions: When have I used an entrepreneurial skill? Who in my family is an entrepreneur?  What are the problems, and opportunities, in my area?

Every week, our master trainers travel to over 200 secondary government schools (so far!) to collect completed projects. We follow what children have learned, what they think, and, just for a little while, travel inside their worlds.

Our office in Patna is filling up with blue, yellow, green and pink chart paper! These are Be! Skills projects that hundreds of 9th grade students have completed in the past three weeks.

Our team in Patna reads and evaluates each project based on what children wrote, what they understood and how they presented their work. We’ve come up with a specific measurement rubric for each skills project, and the points add up! All this then goes into a database so we can follow the story of every child.

Anuradha is one of our master trainers. She evaluates activities, builds relationships with teachers and students and gives them feedback on the skills projects they’ve completed.

For the first skills project, we asked children to pick 5 skills and write 5 stories. We found that children have so many questions. They want to understand the tangled, confusing world around them.

Anand from Ram Mohun Roy Seminary School wrote about the skill of curiosity.  ”When I look at an airplane, I wonder how it flies like a bird. Do passengers stay hungry or do they get food? And if they get food, does it taste good. I want to know these things.”

Children have found inspiration for stories in so many places. They see entrepreneurial skills in their political leaders, on TV, in their communities, their classmates and their families.

Priya picked the skill of innovative thinking: “In the village, there was a man from a lower caste who worked in many houses so he could send his children to school and give them opportunities. Not only did he send his son to school, but he also made sure his daughter completed her studies. Until then only rich families sent their daughters to school so this was a new way of thinking.”

Children participating in Be! Schools have very few resources, but even with a sheet of white paper and two color markers, they create works of art.

Nishu has made a family tree, with the entrepreneurial skills of his family members. This was the skills project for Week 2.

For his skills project for Week 3, Shahid identified problems in his area. That’s him in the center, and the smallest problems, the ones he thinks he can solve, are right next to him. The big problems are further away. But he thinks he can get people together to solve those too!

Put perhaps what’s most exciting is that children see inspiration within themselves. They tell us, ‘I’ve solved problems, I’ve cleaned up my neighborhood, I’ve taken risks to do the right thing. I can be an entrepreneur.’

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