FAQs

A little about us ...

Empowered is a community of teachers that rose up organically from a calling to change the face and purpose of education and reclaim control over their classroom and career. 

Empowered teachers used powerful methods to deploy an entrepreneurship curriculum called Youth Entrepreneurs. Founded originally in 1991, Youth Entrepreneurs built a methodology to help teachers leverage their flexible, hands-on activities in the classroom. After 30 years of evolution and refinement, that methodology, and the community around it, became powerful forces of their own. 

In 2020-21, amid the chaos of a global pandemic wreaking havoc on the profession of teaching, Empowered was born. With professional burnout at an all-time high, Empowered burst onto the scene to reaffirm trust and faith in teachers across the nation and provide a lifeline and community upon which to rely throughout their career and a powerful method to reimagine their classrooms. 

The Empowered methodology of Experiential Self-Discovery™ puts trust in teachers to reshape their career as they had always imagined it. With it, teachers flip the classroom on its head, building deeply engaging activities and experiences. The results speak for themselves as teachers feel more connected to the profession, the students, and their own value.   

Empowered helps teachers to lead a life of value-creation. We flip the traditional classroom on its head and build something more immersive, more differentiated, more real than any other program. Our teachers, emboldened by a new vision for education, are part of a tight-knit family where they are free to share ideas, be industrious, and grow together.  

Frequently-Asked Questions

Empowered is a community of teachers. We’re brought together by a shared vision of what education looks like when teachers are trusted and empowered. 

We believe that great teaching is a culture, not a condition. It’s a mindset that extends beyond the boundaries of demographics, grades, or subjects. 

Empowered teachers transform classrooms into real-world experiences through an innovative methodology, where teachers and students embark on immersive, hands-on experiences together.

Empowered helps teachers to lead a life of value-creation. We flip the traditional classroom on its head and build something more immersive, more differentiated, more real than any other program. 

Before launching Empowered, our organization emerged out of an entrepreneurship program called Youth Entrepreneurs. Over time, the engaging lessons developed into a methodology and the family of teachers grew into the community you now know as Empowered. 

Today, Youth Entrepreneurs is a powerful curriculum, leveraging the Empowered methodology, that uses activities and incentives to develop entrepreneurial mindsets in our young people. 

Absolutely not. Youth Entrepreneurs will continue to exist as the entrepreneurship curricula and will live on the Empowered platform in the future. Youth Entrepreneurs is focused on entrepreneurship curricula and will exist on the Empowered platform in the future.

YE’s activities will exist on Teacheverywhere.org and YEAcademy.org.

1. Teachers Deserve Support

We believe teachers deserve resources and support. That’s why we build and curate a collection of the best resources, professional development, stories, and teacher tools available, making it easy for teachers to get and stay Empowered.

2. Teachers Require Freedom

We believe that it’s crucial for a teacher to have freedom, flexibility, and trust in their classroom. That’s why we empower teachers to build an experiential learning environment that attends to the unique needs of each student.

3. Teachers Thrive in Community

We believe in the power of teachers connecting with and supporting other teachers. That’s why our community is driven by teachers becoming Empowered and spreading the word to colleagues and friends.

TeachEmpowered.org is a home base and safe place for teachers to connect, learn, get resources, and engage deeper in the Empowered community. To find out more about the platform and to sign up to learn more, go to TeachEmpowered.org.

The Academy
Empowered Academy gives teachers instant access to gamified, fun PD content including on-demand video, virtual webinars, and live events. 

The Marketplace
Empowered Marketplace is an ever-growing repository of hundreds of free resources, activities, and how-to’s. 

Peer Support
Empowered is a community where teachers can find ideas, support, mentorship, and engaging conversations through events and online platforms. Coming Fall 2021.

Financial Resources
Empowered raises funds to support and incentivize teachers who leverage Experiential Self-Discovery™ and provide value back to their community. 

Empowered Teacher Magazine
Empowered Teacher is a first-of-its-kind magazine written by and for real teachers. Stories, DIY, inspiration, and resources keep teachers engaged and entertained. Go to www.empoweredteachermag.com to explore!

For YE Teachers

Empowered is a fully new organization. We’re focused on educators more than education; on using markets to teach rather than teaching about markets. That means a number of changes are coming. 

Four Pillars. We have grown the 4 Pillars into a full-fledged methodology called Experiential Self-Discovery. 

Business Focus. Our organization no longer focuses narrowly on business and entrepreneurship. Empowered is proud to support any and all teachers committed to a growth mindset. However, Youth Entrepreneurs curriculum will still be available. 

Values. This one’s easy. We’ve transitioned our “Foundational Values” to “Foundational Principles”.

Students. Students aren’t our focus — you are. Empowered is a community for teachers. We’re dedicated to supporting teachers in their classroom, career, and community. Of course, being a part of Empowered will invariably lead to student outcomes. Our support of teachers enables them to focus on helping their students discover their value and leads to great success in and out of the classroom. 

Funding. Funding is fundamentally different at Empowered. Stipends are no longer our mechanisms for supporting our family of teachers. We will be unveiling a new funding model, built to support experiential methods and incentivize value-creation inside the Empowered community, during Summer 2021. 

Empowered will provide support and incentives for teachers in new and creative ways through methodology implementation which will be unveiled in the summer 2021. 

At YE, our funding model was equitable but not value-based.  In that way, it was at odds with our whole philosophy. Our goal for the new funding model is to ensure that value is rewarded and incentivized to support our community of teachers.

The Four Pillars have been integrated into our Experiential Self-Discovery methodology. 

At Empowered, values are important foundational concepts. We’ve made some adjustments to the language we use for greater clarity. We still have values, but today those values have matured into our Foundational Principles.

Empowered is first and foremost a teacher community. We have wearable items available for purchase for our community of teachers as well as classroom assets to support the methodology, such as Foundational Principles posters and Empowered dollars. Empowered will not produce branded swag for students; however, there are still a variety of Youth Entrepreneurs-branded items available. Just visit ShopEmpowered.org! We’ll continue to add more items in the weeks and months to come.

Empowered is reimagining all events to best support a growing community of teachers. We’ll be hosting a virtual Recharge event in the winter of 2021 open to all educators.

Empowered is working to bring more localized events to teachers later in 2021 as well, including focused PD opportunities and many new ways to engage with one another in more meaningful ways.

We will not be holding an EDU event in 2021, but are evaluating a broader community event for 2022. 

Empowered is working to bring more localized events to teachers later in 2021, including focused PD opportunities and tons of new ways to engage with one another in more meaningful ways.

Empowered is first and foremost a teacher-focused community, which you are part of. And as an Empowered teacher using the Experiential Self-Discovery methodology, you’ll be able to weave the components of ESD into all of your classes, regardless of what the subject is.

That being said, please feel free to call your class Youth Entrepreneurs, if that’s what you had used in years prior.

Methodology

At Empowered, our learning experiences are designed to discover, develop, and apply the unique talents of every person… and that starts with you, the teacher.

The secret to the success of the Empowered teacher is in a unique learning process called Experiential Self-Discovery. Built on over 30 years of real classroom experimentation, Experiential Self-Discovery promotes individual learning and growth through collaborative and experiential work. It means empowering teachers to flip the old classroom model on its head and trust their instincts to guide students in an immersive learning adventure. The learning experience is built on the image of a simple market, where students and teachers engage every day, in every activity, building relationships by recognizing value in themselves and others.

Empowered teachers build bridges from their classrooms directly into the real world, knocking down the walls erected by the typical challenges in modern education. The dynamic classrooms become low-risk environments for students and teachers to try and fail with new ideas, innovations, and concepts.

As a result, students gain essential skills, build out a lifelong scaffolding of timeless principles, and set out on a path toward self-discovery. Teachers, at the same time, build heartier relationships with students, offer more marketable and relatable skills, better promote positive behaviors, and free themselves up to continue on their own path toward their own self-discovery.

By building a classroom experience hinged on student agency, differentiated pathways to success, and open dialogue, you bring to life the best that each student has to offer. The process is built on five simple, foundational components:

  1. Agency
  2. Incentive
  3. Principles
  4. Action
  5. Purpose

First, students and teachers are trusted to have ownership in the learning process. Second, a simple economy—just like the one we all take part in every day—is used to promote behaviors and participation by freely exchanging value. Third, students learn to connect with their world by asking big questions, looking for improvements, and thinking about how they can impact their surroundings with each decision. Fourth, each lesson is framed through eight awesome principles to build character. And finally, the whole process of learning is built around a more important goal: to give students and teachers ownership over their lives, their decisions, and ultimately connect with their own value.

These five components, when practiced together, create a learning environment where students are energized, essential skills are built, and teachers are trusted to build unique experiences.

At Empowered, we focus on the personal over the professional, the teacher over the teaching, the student over the subject. We revolve our community, our program, and our classrooms around eight simple but powerful principles. Internalizing these eight Principles is key to unlocking the entrepreneurial mindset and opening a world of possibilities for you and your students.

In a principled life, the challenges we face go from unclimbable mountains to life-changing adventures. The principles themselves aren’t rote lessons to be learned, but instead lenses through which we can view every aspect of our lives.

As such, the eight Principles substantiate a lifestyle that helps each of us stay connected with our purpose, our passion, and our value. That lifestyle is something we call the “entrepreneurial mindset,” which is foundational to living a rich, fulfilling life of substance.

The Foundational Principles are:

Responsibility
Take ownership for your own life. No one will ever be as concerned about your success as you.

Integrity
Always act with courage, respect, and toleration.

Knowledge
Seek and use the best knowledge, drive change that benefits others, and exemplify humility and intellectual honesty.

Freedom
Respect the rights of others and study the links between freedom, entrepreneurship, and societal well-being.

Passion
Find fulfillment in your life by improving the lives of others.

Opportunity
Approach everything in life as a reason to improve; recognize and seize what life has to offer.

Sound Judgment
Use economic thinking to create the greatest benefit while using the least resources.

Win-Win Focus
Cooperation creates real value in society — for yourself and others.

What's Next

Easy. You can start your journey by creating a profile on our website, hear a little bit about what we do, and sign on to our collective vision of a better education. In the near future, we’ll be rolling out PD courses, localized groups, and a marketplace of activities to leverage in your classroom. 

Sign up now at TeachEmpowered.org.