Chicago hip-hop artist JNAN inspires youth

September 11, 2013 6:02:19 AM PDT
Some of Chicago's young adults go far beyond learning to prepare a dog on a bun; they're learning how to set up a business.

It's the inspiration of a Chicago hip-hop artist who wants to help inner-city youth down a career path.

Witness the turkey dog being fully dressed. Under the pop-up tent that is no ordinary hot dog stand.

Tamale Sundae with everything.

Can I get two orange pops?

That's not ready. Not ready yet.

There's an education going on here. These are young adults who are going far beyond preparing a dog on a bun. They're learning how to set up a business. How to navigate the often tedious world of getting licenses for sanitation, food preparation and peddling.

"What we teach them are things that you need to get a business up and running. At the same time with the economy fluctuating the way it does, it allows them to have their own means of feeding themselves and their families," said Roxanne Burnett,of the Green Light Movement.

"You can put everything on there except for cheese," said Burnett.

The program is called "Young Entrepreneurs" and it's part of a larger non-profit set up by JNAN, a Chicago hip hop artist who sees the hot dog wrapper - as it's called - as a prototype to birthing a business.

"The reward I get to see when these people do something positive with their lives and become successful. That's all our kids want to do is become successful," said JNAN, founder of the Young Entrepreneur's Program.

"Anything that comes to food, I'm just right at it," said student Angel Vega.

Angel Vega has her sanitation license, in learning cost analysis, is a student at Le Cordon Bleu, and is working toward a dream.

"Catering, my own catering company," said Vega.

The hot dog wrapper started last year with one cart and three kids. There are now four sites and three dozen kids working under pop-up tents that are no ordinary hot dog stands.


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