On Wednesday, March 13th, the Hustle PHX team, powered by AmeriCorps AZ, continued the journey embarked upon on Wednesday, February 28th, in which 16 justice-involved youth were selected for the purpose of becoming the next generation of (restorative) Hustlers through the all new YEP 101 course. 

For the third week of class, there was an attendance of 15, and we opened up with a recap of the previous week, which was about affections: “What do I Care About?”. There was a little bit of dialogue and then the floor was opened for one of our volunteers to share their story with the youth.

adobe mountain school juvenile detention facility

Adobe Mountain School, partner site of Hustle PHX & Youth Entrepreneurship Program

In their story they shared how, in spite of the circumstances of life, they gained abilities, found their passion, discovered their why and were also able to experience great opportunities in the process. This all happened because in spite of their circumstances, they kept on pressing forward by: learning new skills, keeping them cultivated, trying out new things and being consistent where they were at. Our volunteer facilitators gave the youth some advice, encouraging each individual to continually invest in their own personal growth and abilities, be it by new information they learn or abilities they practice. They also encouraged them to not compare themselves to others, but to themselves; by measuring where they are at the end of each day to where they were at the start of it, as a means for measuring their growth.

After that another one of our volunteers took some time to tell the story of Hustle PHX, and also expound upon it for the youth to be able to apply it to their own lives. They shared that Oye Waddell, our CEO & founder, was a gifted and driven individual who had a big vision and a knack for inspiring others and developing partnerships. But in spite of that, he still needed others to help him accomplish his goals, because at the end of the day, he had his own strengths and weaknesses. After hiring someone who’s strengths directly complemented his weaknesses, he began to build a team of people consisting of diverse abilities, with a shared set of values and vision for the organization. Our volunteer facilitators emphasized the importance of relationships, letting the youth know that each of them should all play their part because, metaphorically speaking, every puzzle piece needs to go in its proper place. To further drive the point home, one of our volunteers shared how they were considered strong-willed as a child and would get into trouble, because they would try to take the lead at certain times while ignoring what other people had to bring to the table.

After a bit of dialogue, we came together to play a game. Consisting of four teams, taking turns to spin a wheel containing different industries, and naming as many occupations, people and/or organizations within the industry it landed on. There were four rounds in total, and at the end of the game the winning team (Team 2) received a prize.

There was then a bit of dialogue about abilities, in which some of the youth shared theirs. These consisted of: math, basketball, cooking, music, and racing . One of our team members then took a bit of time to go over definitions for some of the key-words utilized that evening. Another team member prepped the youth for some homework, the next week was previewed and then they were dismissed.

Closing Thoughts from the Author

While watching the game, I noticed that the very topics discussed this evening were being played out right before my eyes. This was because every round, one individual/youth would go up at a time, but they would still be allowed to receive help from their teammates. And with each subsequent round every team ended up with more points than they had before. This to me exemplified the importance of abilities and relationships because while each youth may have been able to obtain points on their own, they were able to obtain even more with the help of their teammates. As one of our volunteers shared: Every puzzle piece needs to go in its proper place. And because of that I would like to point out that the Hustle PHX team has our own strengths and weaknesses, but with your help we can do even more.


If you would like to see where you can fit in this puzzle press the button below:

 Youth Entrepreneurship Program – Hustle PHX

Hustle PHX yep team at adobe mountain school

Youth Entrepreneurship Program Team

Volunteer with Hustle PHX Today