In the late eighties the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business was an education-based island located within a larger community. According to the school’s dean at that time, Ray Miles, both the school and the community knew very little about each other. And Miles was determined to change this condition. “We set out to bring kids from the surrounding community in contact with our students.” says Miles, Professor Emeritus at Haas and Boost’s (formerly known as YEAH) founder. Currently Boost@BerkeleyHaas is serving over 160 local youth per year.
Now 30 years later Boost’s curriculum continues the tradition started by Ray Miles and his staff-enrolling kids, who predominantly come from families that traditionally have not gone to college-in programs that help them gain confidence as they feel more comfortable on campus. “Then as now,” says Miles, “an overwhelming majority of these students who get acquainted with the concepts of entrepreneurship at Boost, eventually go to college.”
Being located within a world-class business school we readily recognize opportunities and successful tools that we share with our community’s youth. And we are finding that the Boost program is providing even more benefits than we first anticipated. It’s thrilling and surprising to see how well our UC Berkeley students like our programs too, Miles says. Initially only our MBA students were involved as mentors. Now our undergrad students want to be involved too. Additionally, we are at the point, a twenty-five plus years later, where we are building an alumni base that wants to give back. That’s great news for the Boost tradition that continues to excite, educate and support deserving youth.