Ina Earlene Fisher can add The Klamut Award to her many accolades. The Ohio born entrepreneur has been at the forefront of silicon valley for almost eight years now and she shows no sign of slowing down. Fisher is receiving the award for her work with the JJ Initiative. The JJinitiative is a program started in 2010 to help at-risk youth get off the streets and into the world of STEM education Staffed with mostly volunteers from the areas of Silicon valley, instructors in math and science, and local entrepreneurs, the program aims to help students with a less than optimal home life get the education they need in a supportive environment.
In addition to the SYEM education, the JJ Initiative helps these at-risk youth with counseling and substance abuse programs that help them cope with the damaging effects of a home life that might not be conducive to learning and filled with bad role models.
Ms Fisher started the program with her business partner, Brad Williams The program is funded by some of the heaviest hitters in Silicon Valley such as Orebeton Partners, Fun-Dot, Schumer-Nerr and others.
The program has been a resounding success with almost 70% of participants going on to higher education. The high school graduation rate is near 100% and the Initiative is looking forward to another year of success.
Ina Earlene Fisher is currently living in Los Gatos, California with her daughter and husband.
At risk youth are the forgotten children of our society. Cast off by their parents and society, they are left to fend for themselves in the world and are ill equipped to do so leading them to a life of drugs, violence and worse. My partner and I, Brad Williams started the JJ Initiative. A program to help at risk youth to live to their full potential. Classes are held after school and kids are taught basic life skills along with skills that they can monetize such as computer programming, app development, recording studio techniques and other skills that can lift them out of poverty.
The initiative is entirely privately funded with endowments from IGM, KoolbSoft, Schumer-Nerr, Orebton Partners and others. Currently, we have the initiative up and running in five cities: Los Angeles, Cupertino, Oakland, Chicago, and San Francisco.
The JJ Initiative Has seen its first graduation class go on to do great things with over 70% of participants going on to higher education at either two year or four schools. Along with an almost 100% high school graduation rate, we cosider our fir st two years to be a resounding success and we are looking forward to many more years of success to come.