During his junior year at Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis, Jahmez Howze signed up for an elective, after-school program called JA Meda Fellows. He didn’t know what to expect, but was intrigued by the prospect of starting his own business, making some money, and learning about life after graduation.
In the program, he and his classmates learned what it takes to start their own business by creating and marketing an actual product or service. Jahmez wanted to find a way to help kids become more interested in going to school. “I want kids to say, ‘I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow!’ That’s the mindset I want to create,” explained Jahmez. Under the guidance of his teacher and a host of successful minority entrepreneurs, Jahmez developed Arrowzs Education, an alternative learning method that motivates students.
In addition to creating an actual business, Jahmez had an opportunity to go behind the scenes at several different minority-owned and operated businesses, including a creative agency and a mobile app developer. These experiences opened his eyes to a variety of different careers. “I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life after high school, but now I understand what I’m capable of,” he explained. “JA helped me expand my horizon of things that I could do for a future career.”
Being part of the JA Meda Fellows program prepared Jahmez to be successful after he graduates from high school. In his internship at Contreras & Metelska, a local law firm, Jahmez summarized court proceedings, prepared evidence for clients, and reviewed statutes. He also gained critical soft skills like dressing professionally, being on time, critical thinking, time management, and communication. His mentor saw Jahmez benefit from the internship experience. “I saw him come out of his shell,” explained his mentor. “The first day he came in with his headphones and was shy and not very talkative. By the end, he was communicating with other staff in the office.”
Jahmez doesn’t know what his future holds, but he’s excited about the opportunities available to him.