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ONABEN’s Youth Empowerment Strategies Initiative assists in the development of young, Native leaders, and the creation of emerging, entrepreneurial communities, while also establishing the importance of innovation, critical thinking, and resilience.

ONABEN is developing a comprehensive culturally appropriate entrepreneurial and finance learning platform targeting Native youth under the age of 18 in Native communities. We have been pilot testing our youth simulations for the past two years. Resources provided to ONABEN will be critical to helping ONABEN continue this initiative, therefore helping Native youth gain skills that can impact their future in a positive way.

Students learn how to successfully prepare for business through developing their personal finance skills, setting goals, and skills to recognize opportunities and challenges of a small business owner. Students will learn real world business skills: leadership development, verbal communication, and business etiquette. This project has benefits that are multifaceted and investing these types of resources in youth fills a gap and a need for the development of basic skill building and acquisition of core skills that will benefit all youth whether they choose the entrepreneurship path or not.

This initiative is ongoing and if your community would be interested in having ONABEN come to your community to provide trainings and implement a Youth Marketplace Simulation, contact us for more information and dates.

Michael Bridges

Michael Bridges

Michael is a proud U.S. Army Veteran and a member of the Cherokee Nation. With 10 years of service as an Infantryman, Michael implements the core values of integrity, honor, and selfless service into his leadership of the company. With over 20 years of experience, Michael began working with building websites and graphic design in 1998. A family-oriented man, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Kristina and their three children. He is a proud and active member of Jenks Lodge #497 A.F. & A.M. and an advisor for the Order of DeMolay.