A summer enrichment program for middle school girls kicks off this week at Old Dominion University’s Strome Entrepreneurial Center in Norfolk.
Businesswoman Angela D. Reddix, President and CEO of ARDX, a Norfolk-based healthcare management and technology consulting company, is the founder of Envision Lead Grow to encourage the girls nationwide to build their future through entrepreneurship.
The summer program involves a seven city bus tour which begins in Norfolk to Memphis, Tennessee, the first stop on the tour.
Over the course of the summer, the bus will make stops in Greensboro, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, Richmond, Virginia, ending with the grand finale in Norfolk. In each city, the Envision Lead Grow team will share an entrepreneurship curriculum to middle school girls in underserved communities.
Envision Lead Grow has partnered with local universities, local businesses and local female professionals in each city to create a ring of support for the young women.
“It has long been a dream of mine to inspire young women to achieve more. The mission and vision of Envision Lead Grow is to break the cycle of poverty for 1,000 girls in underserved communities in the U.S. each year.
With the launch of this program, we are thrilled to be able to make inroads to reach that goal,” said Reddix, the creator of Envision Lead Grow.
The camps in each city are made up of week-long sessions. It is a 40-hour entrepreneurship immersion program from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be offered 100% free to camp participants with snacks and lunch included.
The girls will spend the week learning key skills to think in an entrepreneurial mindset, and will work on creating a “Passion Pitch” around their business ideas. All of this will culminate in a pitch competition, where one girl will receive $500 seed money for her venture.
The program doesn’t end after the week is over. Each girl will also be assigned a female mentor within the community to help her continue to develop her business idea after camp is over. The girls will also be included in an Envision Lead Grow online community and have access to online seminars and newsletters.
Reddix created this movement in 2016. In the last decade, her company ARDX has grown into a multi-million dollar firm that employs more than 125 associates.