Taj Stokes is a self-professed “bad kid” with a hard head and a reputation to go with it, Stokes had gotten himself into trouble when a pastor took a leap of faith, halted the expulsion and stepped in to mentor him. Stokes began to work with a pastor in Colorado Springs who’d been searching for innovative ways for the church to give back. People wanted jobs. Decades after his own second chance, Stokes started Thrive Network, and now offers opportunity to those willing to work for it. The program takes a community-first approach that empowers students to identify problems in their neighborhoods, come up with creative solutions to solve them, and then find ways to monetize those
1. Develop an understanding of how the private sector can help the public sector solve problems.
2. Establishing an approach to connecting to marginalized populations.
3. The advantages of empowering communities to bootstrap and giving them proper resources to get it done.