If you are a young adult between the ages of 16 and 26, with a desire to own or run a business, an opportunity knocks this summer when the L.A. County Parks After Dark (PAD) adds the Entrepreneur Educational Center, Inc.’s (EECI) “Miracle’s Young Adult Entrepreneur Program” (MYAEP) to its activities list. There are two enrollment dates scheduled at the newly renovated Ted Watkins Park, 1335 E. 103rd St., Los Angeles. On June 14 PAD opens city/county wide with enrollment from 6pm – 10 pm. On June 23 EECI will enroll at an Open-to-the-Public Seminar: “The Business Plan,” 5 pm – 7 pm in the park’s Edna Aliewine Room.

Miracle’s YAEP classes commence the following week in the Watts Computer Learning Center equipped with 20 state of the art Workstations. Students will learn the building blocks of entrepreneurial success and leave with a preliminary business plan that includes entry strategies, management team building, marketing and finance as their deliverables at the end of the 9 month program.

The program is named in honor of 15 year old Watts native Miracle Treasure McGowan, a student at Ánimo College Prep Academy charter school on the David Jordan High School campus. She tragically lost her life in January 2018 to a random gunman while sitting in the family car with her mother who was wounded.

“Miracle loved her community, was a tireless volunteer at Ted Watkins Park and had her heart set on attending college and using her skills to give-back and improve the neighborhood she grew up in,” according to Park Manager Tenesha Ware. “Miracle and I planned for her to work at the park while she went to college. Everyone loved Miracle, and her family feels that this program will represent the goodness and upward mobility they saw for her future.”

Miracle’s aspirations represent the motivation behind the Watts-based non-profit’s mission. Founded as a 501(c)(3) corporation in 1989 by Dr. Richard H. Buskirk, the late world-renowned educator and Director of the USC Entrepreneur Program; Barbara J. Stanton, his Assistant and former USC Program Specialist, and Bernadette G. Robert, a Vice President at Mount St. Mary’s College, EECI is committed to assist and educate multi-cultural entrepreneurs, youth-at-risk, “handicapable” entrepreneurs, and people re-entering society, to start or expand their small businesses in the greatly underserviced communities of Watts, Willowbrook, Compton, Gardena, Southgate and Lynwood.

“By introducing the benefits of small business, these young adults can be the future business owners. Being introduced to business, often in high school, is critical so they can take business courses in college. It opens the opportunity to inherit and keep the family (business) heritage, to create employment, and to increase the dollars in the community,” said Barbara J. Stanton, Senior Consultant of the Program.

“EECI believes the outcomes of its courses will demonstrate the ability of young adults to identify opportunities, explore their concept’s viability, develop preliminary business plans and become our next leaders in the business world,” she said.