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Meet Arthur

Arthur Hampton, Jr., is the Michigan Relationship Manager for Youth Entrepreneurs. “What got my attention [about YE] was the ability to engage students and teachers around entrepreneurship. I’ve worked as an assistant principal and in higher education, and I felt what was missing was the opportunity for students to learn how they can create value for others.” Meet Arthur.

Before YE: Arthur has worked in education his entire career, starting with Head Start in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., and eventually working in charter schools, public schools, higher education and vocational pursuits. He moved to the Detroit area about 20 years ago and started with YE in 2017. “I’ve worked with kids from preschool age to college! When it comes to education, I’ve basically worked with all the populations.”

His YE connection: When Arthur saw the job description for the role with YE, the entrepreneurship focus really caught his attention. He’s long been passionate about giving students concrete skills to move into the world and learn what it means to actually create value, not to just acquire a degree because that’s what society tells them to do. Now that he’s been at YE almost a year, he can confirm it was a good move for him. “I’ve been able to have conversations with students, learn about how they’re monetizing their side hustle and engage young people about entrepreneurship.”

A day in the life: As the Relationship Manager for YE in Michigan, Arthur focuses on cultivating relationships in order to expand opportunities for YE students outside of the classroom. He’s currently focused on the partnership with Guardian Industries, creating internships for YE students and volunteer opportunities for Guardian employees. He’s also focused on inviting local universities to get connected with YE. The goal? “When a student finishes a cycle of YE in the classroom, they can go to a summer camp or internship to further cultivate what they’re doing and create more exposure to real entrepreneurship.”

Family: Arthur’s parents and extended family are mostly in Alabama. In Detroit, his family is his fiancé and two children: an 18-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

Outside of YE: “I love travel, relaxing and reading.” Arthur spends a lot of time with his family and tries to help his kids prepare for college and high school, respectively. As for his reading habit, he’s currently reading James Baldwin and W.E.B. Dubois, and is an avid reader of classics and biographies.

On the Foundational Values: For Arthur, the Foundational Value “Passion” really resonates with both his own experience and what he hopes for students. “What I always advocate with students is to pursue something you’re passionate about. Taking my own advice, I have to do something that I love, which is working for the benefit of students and teachers.”

YE equips students to overcome obstacles. Greatest obstacle he’s overcome: “Pushing through being shy and introverted. Learning to be more relational is something that is very important for me. It’s so important to stretch your wings a little more than you used to.”

More on Passion: “The best thing I ever did was pursue a bachelor’s degree in history. Doing that gave my gifts super strength. Now I’m a strong writer, a strong thinker, a strong reader. Even though I didn’t pick the most marketable degree, I picked what I was passionate about and it super-sized my gifts.

“What I want to say to students is, look at the problems in the world, look at your interests, and then find where you can create value to solve those problems. Don’t worry about marketability yet, continue to get good at your passion and what your gift is; what comes to you naturally. Pursue that.”