The Honor Roll is a series that highlights the amazing work that’s being done in the social sector to build economic self-sufficiency and pathways out of poverty.
I am delighted to share this week’s Honor Roll! You may remember my feature on Reconnect down in Brooklyn. Today’s feature is about a similar project working right here in the North End!
As I’ve discussed before, my dream is to see social entrepreneurship used to help people build a viable road out of poverty. I want to help level the playing field so that people understand that the “School of Hard Knocks” is a legitimate educator.
Enter T.R.A.P. House.
Transforming, reinventing and prospering is the vision of T.R.A.P. House, a business incubator that looks at local drug dealers and sees entrepreneurs without opportunity. In other words it’s a business incubator with 20/20 vision.
The incubator helps its clients recognize their talents, identify their passions, and channel their entrepreneurial spirit into “legitimate” marketplaces. They provide the business services, financing, and network to build micro-enterprises.
Seed Funding, Bronin’s Blessing, Pilot Launched
With $30,000 in seed funding won from Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Patricelli himself, the incubator is well on it’s way.
T.R.A.P. House was co-founded by Irvine Peck’s-Agaya, Bashaun Brown, Sara Eismont and Greg Weinreb. Peck’s-Agaya, Eismont and Weinreb are current Wesleyan undergrads. Brown’s story is a little bit different.
Second Chances Through Social Entrepreneurship
Brown took classes at Wesleyan via a prison education program he enrolled in during a stint at Cheshire Correctional Institution. He kept in touch with professors there and has turned his life around to become a social entrepreneur.
Brown has a unique insight into the experience of young people in low-income neighborhoods. That was him. He had an opportunity to get out years ago when he was admitted to Morehouse in Atlanta, but, torn between mounting mounting tuition debt and making quick cash dealing and buying new Cadillacs, dropping out seemed like a no-brainer to a teenaged Brown.
T.R.A.P. House recently launched its pilot program in the North End of Hartford in April (2016) with the blessing of Hartford’s Mayor Luke Bronin.
Stay tuned as I’m sure we’re going to hear great things from T.R.A.P. House. I couldn’t be more excited.