EECI Miracle Young Adult Entrepreneur Program: Roundtable Panelist Shannon Brailey, Sr. Mortgage Consultant, Wintrust Mortgage, joins a panel of experts offering advice to developing entrepreneurs, 16-26 years old, interested in exploring opportunities in areas ranging from retail to real estate, to becoming a franchisee in the food industry, and to handling business legal matters, at the Carson Community Center 6-8 pm, May 30 (279849)

Following a successful 2017 roll-out as part of L.A. County Parks After Dark activities at Ted Watkins Park, the Entrepreneur Education Center (EECI) will expand its Miracle’s Young Adult Entrepreneur Program (MYAEP) to the City of Carson. Free enrollment for the 18 week course of study will be held from 6–8 pm, at the Carson Community Center, 801 E. Carson St. Carson, CA 90745. The instruction is designed to assist and educate multi-cultural entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 and 26 on the ins and outs of how to start or expand a small business in the greatly underserviced communities of Watts, Willowbrook, Compton, Gardena, Southgate, Lynwood and Carson.

The enrollment event centers on an open to the public Roundtable Panel discussion, moderated by Janine Haydel, former KJLH radio personality and Principal at Zenon Financial Management, offering advice to entrepreneurs interested in exploring opportunities in areas ranging from retail to real estate, the food industry and becoming a franchisee, to legal matters, human resources, and management. Panelist include Ed Rice, owner of 5 Popeye’s Franchises, Sam Polk activist and owner of 8 of Every Tables, Lori Harris a Group Transformational Coach, Shannon Brailey of Wintrust Mortgage, Melvin Farmer, MYAEP 2018 Class Graduate, and Monica Castaneda specializing in Human Resources.

“Entrepreneurship is the largest employment path for any progressive community,” notes EECI Executive Director Barbara J. Stanton. “The dollar in under-serviced communities only circulates one time, on an average. Whereas in many communities, it can change hands more than 5 times. For that reason small businesses are critical for the growth of any community,” she continued, saying schools in underserved communities have fallen short in supporting entrepreneurship as a career pursuit.


“It’s perceived as unnecessary in poor communities, and students are taught to get a degree in a field that will pay good money in the future. They fail to share that small businesses are the primary employer in any community. Not addressing these needs continues to put the multi-cultural communities at a disadvantage,” Stanton informed.

New enrollees will be following in the footsteps of last year’s graduates who, after learning the building blocks of entrepreneurial success and armed with a preliminary business plan, knowledge on entry strategies, management team building, marketing and finance, went on to start 8 new small businesses in fields from apparel to nutrition to entertainment and real estate and 2 non-profit organizations offering community services and enrichment programs, operating in the Watts community.

“I believe the Entrepreneur Education Center’s projects and programs will continue to push the innovative envelope in terms of a business and economic development model,” added panel moderator Haydel who is a Watts community native and has been associated with EECI since its founding. “The absence of small businesses and major corporate access to merchandise, food, clothing, electronics, and other basic needs, leaves the residents travelling out of their area to purchase the majority of their needs. That has to change,” she said.

EECI’s Young Adult Entrepreneur Program is named in honor of 15 year old Watts native Miracle Treasure McGowan, a student at Ánimo College Prep Academy charter school on the David Jordan High school campus who tragically lost her life in January 2018 to a random gunman while sitting in the family car with her mother who was wounded. Miracle loved her community, was a tireless volunteer at Ted Watkins Park and had her heart set on attending college and using her skills to give-back and improve the neighborhood she grew up in.

The EECI-MYAEP is sponsored by 2nd District Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, L.A. County Parks PAD, Cathay Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, First Republic Bank, Boston Private Bank and Trust, First Credit Bank, Jenkins, Gales & Martinez, McDonald’s – Patricia Williams franchisee, Popeye’s Chicken – Ed Rice franchisee, L.A. Department of Water and Power, Black Business Association, Los Angeles, and Pacific Western Bank. For information call (323) 757-7506.