With teen unemployment approaching 24.4% there has never been a better time to inspire the minds of the youth.
Meet Dorothy Tan, teenpreneur, mentee, and Lubbock County’s best kept secret.
At 16 she is not only one of our youngest panelist to speak on the tour, but she has also defied the odds by successfully launching a photography business in high school. Even with seasoned entrepreneurs sitting next to her, she was the clear star!
Naturally we investigated Dorothy’s rock star abilities, and summarized her three tips for teen success right here!
Passion, mentorship, and technology.
“You just have to go out there, network and let people know what you do, what you’re passionate about,” Explained Dorothy.
As a 7th grader at Hutchison Middle school, Dorothy used to beg her father to let her take pictures on family trips, a passion she nurtured throughout high school. Her passion for picture taking eventually caught the attention of her mentor, Professor Lianas.
“My mentor was priceless when it came to my business,” Dorothy confessed.
When she was approached by professor Lianas to enroll in the business management class at her middle school, she jumped at the opportunity. Her mentor helped her with writing a business plan, developing business cards, and even got her free booth at the Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. The benefits didn’t end there!
In return for joining the Chamber’s Junior Ambassador Program, they scored free advertising. $700 in free advertising led to 7,000 people visiting Dorothy’s booth in the first year! Not bad for a sophomore in high school.
Dorothy is no stranger to technology. She built a beautiful website for free using Wix.com. As a result of leveraging technology and social media to build a strong brand, she was hired to take the senior pictures at her high school. She is currently looking to expand into taking high school year book pictures. Check Dorothy out here!
Students left our EET Lubbock stop re-energized and inspired. They were grateful that Workforce Solutions South Plains had invited such a gem to the event. If Dorothy, a small town girl with a passion for photography could succeed and share her blueprint, what then, was holding them back?
Check out Dorothy’s portfolio here!
By Bert Gervais