Made In Broward is a not-for-profit enterprise established in 2013 to prepare Broward County youth for adulthood as contributing citizens. We subscribe to Teddy Roosevelt’s belief that "The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight; that he shall not be a mere passenger, but shall do his share in the work that each generation of us finds ready to hand; and, furthermore, that in doing his work he shall show, not only the capacity for sturdy self-help, but also self-respecting regard for the rights of others.”
That’s a great ideal, but how does one go about putting such an ideal to practice, especially in an age where all the conventional wisdom says that hard work is for losers? It is not easy. But it starts with a leadership team that believes in creating work, not eliminating it. That goes against the holy grail of modern business practices of industrialization and automation. Why would we want to create work for young people? After all, structuring work that children can do, and then motivating them to do it to a high standard is difficult. Wouldn’t it be easier to give the kid a video game to keep them occupied while we run to the store and buy what we need?
Yes, definitely. But when we fail to create work for our youth, they miss out on developing the skills and inner confidence and financial wellbeing that comes from work. We fail to train them to believe that they can and must earn their own rewards. So here at Made in Broward, we create work and work together. We plant, we grow, we preserve, we measure, we cook, we bake, we sew, we package and label. We spend a lot of time cleaning and doing the dishes. But while we work, we get to know each other. As President Roosevelt said, through working together, we develop regard for the rights of others. We learn attention to detail. We appreciate quality. We respect the makers. We understand what it takes to make the products that we use and consume every day.
We think about how to improve the process. We know that it would be easier and even cheaper to buy than to make. We know that we will never make a fortune making tote bags and soft toys and bars of soap. But we also know that by facilitating our young interns to pull their own weight, they will go on to help run businesses that positively impact the lives of many people, and they will be more serious and more professional and in a better financial position for having experienced their time at Made in Broward.
So if you believe in what we do, then reward our work. Support us and encourage our young interns by buying, using and giving what we grow and make. Tell your friends and encourage them to do the same. Give us more work. Come and work alongside us. Or start a movement in your community. Hire a kid and train him or her to do useful things and reward their honest efforts.
If you would like to make monetary donations, 100% of all donations goes to supporting the work of our young producers.
Our Mission is to pave a safe, honest, and constructive pathway for Broward County youth, especially for those whose pathway is obstructed by racism, segregation, or poverty. At Made in Broward we believe that it is insufficient to point to a positive pathway from a position of comfort. Rather, we believe that caring and involved adults must work side-by-side with youth on a daily basis to remove obstacles and redirect their energy back to the safe, honest and constructive route, inculcating them with the knowledge, resourcefulness, positive attitude, and connections necessary to prepare them for an independent, contributing life.
Our vision is that every child in Broward County has access to a safe, honest, and constructive pathway for life's journey, so that there is no reason for our youth to feel disenfranchised or alienated from society, or to feel the need to turn to cheating, violence or self-destruction. These pathways can be developed through a collaborative effort of parents, government, schools, corporations, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, so that all youth can be properly prepared over their entire childhood to take their rightful place in the world as contributing citizens. Our vision is that the brutalization of juvenile incarceration is no longer a reality in our community because our youth will be engaged with reaching their own goals through safe and legal means. They will no longer succumb to the temptation of fast cash and the glamour of the criminal life.
Safe, honest, and constructive pathways exist for some youth, but many more need to be constructed, so that all youth can realize the universal ideal of a better life that all parents have for their children. Our goal is to demonstrate a simple, low-cost, attainable pathway using a traditional cottage industry business model that relies heavily on waste recycling to maintain a low materials cost structure. Our young interns receive on-the-job training in gardening, sewing, soap-making, and baking. They learn communication, problem-solving, project management and commercial skills. They are given the tools and resources necessary to develop a moral compass that will guide them throughout their life. They are rewarded with a stipend for their work, which allows them to experience the rewards of honest endeavor.
Our goal is to generate sufficient income to cover our operational costs, including our stipends, so that we can sustain and expand our operation. Through merchandise sales and donations, our goal is the make room for any youth that wants to choose our pathway and join our team.