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We believe empowering youth to create their own businesses can have great impact on their own self-worth, perception of the meaning of success, and can positively impact underrepresented neighborhoods across Chicago.

Gray Matter Experience © 2016  

Our Students

Gray Matter Experience exists to give opportunities to High School students across Chicago to learn about and practice entrepreneurship at an early age. Our students are representative of over 20 Chicago neighborhoods and hope to gain knowledge, access and resources to transform the way they and others view their communities. Students collaborate to develop solutions around problems that plague their communities and use their newfound knowledge gained through The Gray Matter Experience, to help shape their business approach. 


These students are becoming well equipped to navigate through our booming technological and entrepreneurial economy. They're learning to use the resources and information gained through the program to catapult their futures to great success. They're learning to be change agents within their communities with the hope of continuing to rebuild and reinvigorate their neighborhoods as they achieve various forms of success. These students are #GMEChangers. 

These students were the first brave crew to complete The Gray Matter Experience. Students conceptualized businesses that targeted health concerns in the Black community, helped small businesses communicate and collaborate more seamlessly and worked to find solutions to keeping kids off the street. Our alumni went on to attend colleges across the country, majoring in business, economics, marketing and accounting. Six of them defied the odds and used our GME Changers Incubator to further develop their business. As a result, Lip Locker - an all natural DIY lipstick company for minority women to craft the perfect shade and RecruiTeen - an app allowing teens to find small business jobs in their communities - were launched. 

This bright group of teens entered the program with a strong desire to equip themselves with whatever it takes to see their communities improved. These students are passionate about economic justice and aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves to do the work. They're learning to leverage their creativity, collective experiences and unique perspectives to develop businesses they can create now for longstanding impact on their community's narratives. Stay tuned to see what magic they create!

This dynamic cohort joined the program eager to be connected to the people, places and things that would help them turn their passions into impact. These #gmechangers are strong willed and determined to put in the work it takes to be successful. They're collaborative, curious, creative and empowered and we can't wait to equip them with the right resources to make impact within and outside the city of Chicago. Keep watch for this group, you'll surely hear more about their successes.