It’s a disheartening statistic: every 29 seconds, one student drops out of the U.S. educational system. Over the course of a year, that equates to 1.2 million young Americans who never graduate—the majority of whom would have continued their studies had the curriculum proved more relevant to their lives.

Sometimes what young people need is a little inspiration and mentoring to show them just how relevant education really is to their future. And that’s where the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) comes in.

Founded in New York in 1987, NFTE currently has 11 affiliate offices throughout the United States that provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to graduate from high school and to learn the necessary skills for creating their own business plans—in essence, helping to shape them into the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

On Sunday, June 3, the DSEF will kick off the Entrepreneurs in Action Walkathon to benefit the Greater Dallas Chapter of NFTE. The three-day event will be held at the Gaylord Texan during the DSA Annual Meeting. DSA members will have the opportunity to support NFTE’s goal of helping at-risk youth find their pathways to a brighter future, and meet some special young people who participate in the organization’s programs.

The walkathon is a first for DSEF, which in the past has hosted a toy drive and organized a beach cleanup as part of its annual charitable efforts. Kate Gardner, Chair of the DSEF Community Partner Program task force and Executive Director of the SUCCESS Foundation, says the walkathon not only allowed DSEF to infuse the entire three days of the DSA Annual Meeting with the message of community partnership, but it also tied in well with its theme: Inspiring Entrepreneurs.

“NFTE inspires kids to complete their education and to go forward, or consider starting, their own businesses,” says Gardner. “The organization is all about teaching the principles and spirit of entrepreneurship. It is a natural tie-in to what the DSA represents.”

Laura Maczka, Executive Director, NFTE Greater Dallas, agrees. “There is a natural connection between what we are trying to encourage our children to do and what the folks in the direct selling business do,” she says. “Our goal is to have disadvantaged youth feel like they can positively affect their future—that they have some control, and through their own businesses change their circumstances.”

Aside from the financial support NFTE will receive from the walkathon, Maczka is just as excited about opportunity for her students to meet members of the DSA. “We are always looking for role models and mentors,” she states. “The people we have met through direct selling have amazing stories that are inspiring to our children. The opportunity for our students to see successful people, hear their stories and hear that they genuinely care about next generation of entrepreneurs is amazing, especially since our students could aspire to be members of the DSA someday.”

DSEF’s support of NFTE is appreciated by top business leaders such as Jim Stitt, President and CEO of CUTCO, who has long recognized the importance of teaching the concept of entrepreneurship to youth. CUTCO is a business that is predominantly college student-oriented, with its focus on young students who can aspire to be entrepreneurs of the future.

“CUTCO has been a longtime supporter of DSEF,” says Stitt. “We think these events are great because they showcase what DSEF does for the industry, and it is a great way for colleagues to get together, learn more about DSEF while working together as well as raise awareness for DSEF.”

The Entrepreneurs in Action Walkathon is sponsored by Herbalife, ALHI, The Pampered Chef, VideoPlus, USANA, CUTCO, 4Life, The Hartford, John A. Parks Co., Inc., Team National, Beachbody, Vantel Pearls and WineShop At Home.

Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Most Miles Walked, Daily Challenges and Most Pledges Collected. The grand prize is a 2-night stay at the Aria in Las Vegas with spa certificates for two. The first place winner will receive a 2-night stay at the Peabody Orlando, and the second place winner will enjoy a 1-night stay at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs with golf for two.


Entrepreneurs in Action Walkathon Kick-Off Networking Event

Sunday, June 3—8 a.m. to Noon
Registration Fee: $100 (Tax Deductible)

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our host city’s youth!

Sign up when you register for the Annual Meeting. If you’ve already registered, click here to edit your registration to include the event

For more information, please contact Tamara Ingram.

Can’t Make the Kick-Off Event? You Can Still Participate!

  1. Collect your pedometer at DSA’s Registration Desk after 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 3.
  2. Start walking!
  3. GO THE EXTRA MILE! (Optional) Before the Annual Meeting, ask your colleagues to support you by pledging any dollar amount for every mile you walk. Click here to download the Pledge Form.