Youth Development



Our Youth Development initiative creates opportunities for Richmond teens and young adults to gain work-place readiness skills and gain valuable hands-on experience.

Summer Youth Entrepreneur Program

About SYEP
Since 2008, Richmond Main Street has proudly partnered with Richmond YouthWORKS to conduct the Summer Youth Entrepreneur Program (SYEP), a five-week work readiness training and employment program.

Our program serves 10-15 Richmond youth, ages 16-22, and provides work readiness training, entrepreneurialism activities, and summer employment at local businesses. For many participants SYEP is a valuable experience and unique opportunity to develop communication and professionalism skills, as well as a knowledge of workplace, retail, and business principles.

SYEP takes place from July – September and consists of the following components:

Week 1: Exploring and developing communication, professionalism, ethics, and team building skills
Week 2: Introduction to entrepreneurialism concepts and developing a business for Downtown

Worksite placements in local businesses with the ability to complete up to 120 hours

“I really enjoyed the training…I woke up every day excited to come here.”

“I enjoyed the entrepreneur partner part because it was the most challenging.”

The Impact of SYEP

To date, our Summer Youth Entrepreneur Program has served over 100 Richmond youth and young adults, many from low-income households.

In 2015, SYEP trained and employed 14 youth. Highlights of the two-week training portion of the program included:

  • Field trips to the Stride Center and Youth Radio
  • Access to Catholic Charities of the East Bay computer lab, which allowed the students to work collaboratively, conduct research, and prepare digital slides for their business presentation.
  • Graduation! All 14 participants graduated from the program in July after presenting their business ideas to family, peers, and the Richmond Main Street board of directors.
Following graduation, the nearly all the youth completed 100-120 hours at local businesses: TJ Maxx in Pinole and Richmond Main Street. Of the 12 youth placed at TJ Maxx, 7 were hired by the store, 3 continued their studies at local colleges, and 2 found employment at other businesses.

Work-Based Learning Partnerships

In recent years Richmond Main Street has formed partnerships with a variety of groups dedicated to expanding work-based learning opportunities for local youth. We are proud to participate in the success of these programs and provide hands-on learning experiences for the participants. Here are a few examples:

Richmond Public Health Solutions
Since 2015 RMSI has served as a host site for Richmond Public Health Solutions interns. To date, our office has hosted 3 high school student interns working on projects to further access to health resources and activities in Downtown Richmond.

In 2016, RMSI served as the client for Y-PLAN projects at Kennedy High School (Technology Academy) and DeAnza High School (Health Academy).

Main Street Youth Entrepreneur Day
On April 24, 2016, we partnered with Junior Achievement to host a one-day learning opportunity for Richmond high school students. 40 teamed up with mentors from our local business community to develop innovatinve, youth-serving business solutions for Downtown Richmond. We are actively seeking funding to develop one of the winning proposals.

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