Archives: 2014 & Earlier

Natasha Cross – Engaging Youth Entrepreneurs for Change

Natasha Cross


Engaging Youth Entrepreneurs for Change

Baltimore, Md.

(443) 768-1604

Age: 24

Salary: $45,000

About EYE for Change: The organization took root as a conference set up by students at Baltimore’s Morgan State University, at which school-age youth participants were encouraged to consider self-employment as a career path – with the caveat that they give back to the community that they lived in or came from.

“Professors always pushed us to get good grades so we could work for someone else,” Cross says. “That wasn’t good for me. We thought, ‘Maybe we can teach these kids entrepreneurship so they don’t all spend 20 to 40 years making someone else rich.’ ”

Cross expanded the idea. In addition to the annual conference, she put together entrepreneurship clubs at local middle schools and high schools. One incentive for those clubs to stay active is an entrepreneurship competition, in which seed money is awarded to a youth team with the best start-up business proposal.

Her Job: Cross is the sole employee. Between projects, she establishes and maintains regular contact with youth at schools around the city, writing grants and developing partnerships with business and youth development programs that might help EYE for Change.

Best Part of the Job: “Getting kids thinking about giving back. In addition to teaching them to be profitable in a capitalist system, we drive home that it’s important that you support people who help you.”

Worst Part of the Job: “The grant writing, worst part. I love telling my story and I love writing, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. You’ve got to make sure you are saying everything in the correct way. It’s very tedious and time-consuming. I’m trying to get a grant writer on our board to help with that.”

Memorable Moment: EYE For Change recently held an event where young entrepreneurs spoke to youth at a high school, and then the youths engaged in more interactive components, such as a “Jeopardy”-style game show about business start-up. “The looks on their faces. … It just hit me how much this makes sense,” she says. “They don’t learn about entrepreneurship at school at all.”

Slow and Steady: “I’ve been told it’s best to become an expert locally, then expand. Now I just want to focus on Baltimore County, become a strong name here. Then, maybe we’ll branch out from here. There are still a lot of [school administrators] who don’t know us yet, but 90 percent of the kids at our conference this year were from Baltimore. Next year, my goal is that people here will know what we do.”


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top