MIDAS knows that majority of young people today are hopeful, eager to succeed, and more aware of environmental issues more often than we adults realise – despite gang culture being hyped up and youths stereotyped by the media.
Yet they receive little acknowledgement and encouragement for having a ‘good head on their shoulders’ and there are only a handful of opportunities to reward them for their excellence.
The MIDAS “N.I.C.E.” scheme would like to salute those young individuals who deserve a break for being the best they can – whatever the circumstances.
N.I.C.E. ( New Incentive Challenges for young Entrepreneurs ) is a project designed for young people aged between 12-15. It provides unique opportunities to those young individuals who are able to identify problems in their community and come up with solutions that will also make a profit! All you have to do is to make a team of 1-5 people, name your team, point out a problem, find a solution, make it into a business, write up a business plan, make a business promotional video (up to 15 minutes, NOT MANDATORY)! After the 12 monthly winners are chosen, they will be invited to a Grand Ceremony in London to be presented with mind-blowing prizes!!!
Midas will be writing to heads of schools nationwide shortly inviting you to join in this excellent opportunity. After the headmaster’s agreement we will visit your school to explain the challenge. You may also write in to request a visit to your school. If we cannot visit you, have no fear – you can still enter by submitting the form HERE!
The MIDAS Board of Members will be selecting one Business Plan per month as a MIDAS Monthly N.I.C.E. winner, based on their plan’s profitability, effectiveness and inventiveness. Your plan must be either an ‘Environmental’ or ‘Community’ theme.Your plan must indicate the timescale. Your plan must indicate the cost. Your plan must indicate the benefit for the community / environment as well as monetary profit. At the end of each year, the 12 finalist teams will be invited to attend the Grand Ceremony in London where Grand Winners will be announced.
All participants will be awarded with MIDAS GOLD Certificates.
EXAMPLES OF PRIZES
……and many many more!!
For sixty years British youth have been typified in the media, by law enforcement and increasingly by government as a social problem. During the post war boom years the violent and anti-social activities of small numbers of youths who were involved in spectacular youth subcultures such as Teddy Boys, Mods, and Rockers were presented as being typical of the entire youthful population. Although some of the more enlightened scholars of the day recognised this hype for what it was (Cohen 1973), the prevailing imagery that emerges from this era is that of dangerous street collaborations intent on mayhem. However, due to the lack of youth orientated leisure outlets most working class youths of the era congregated on street corners, cafes and youth clubs left the school system to enter a world of work. This constituted either unskilled, low-paid manual work, or for the elite three-, five-, and seven-year apprenticeships (Downes 1966). Their lives were dominated by membership of tightly organised family orientated communities, where the worlds of work and leisure for youths as well as their parents were closely entwined. Consequently this imagery of dangerous deviant youth constituted a gross exaggeration, and it is worth pointing out that even Mod vs Rocker ‘battles’ of the mid-sixties were a minority sport, for as Cohen (1973) clearly indicates, the numbers involved were tiny.
However, this image of dangerous British youth, invented during the years of full employment, has remained the dominant image of the post war years, and despite the fact that the majority of youths avoid trouble, do not deal in drugs or carry knives, they are all tarred with the same deviant brush.
During the last ten years this prejudice and distortion has become even worse. Industrially based working class communities are now a thing of the past, elite apprenticeships have almost disappeared, the youth service has become run down and the entire society has bought into consumerism. Moreover structural unemployment has made it difficult for youths to either follow their parents into meaningful working class jobs, or to acquire the cash to buy into consumerism. And as if this was not enough for youths to endure they are now tainted en mass as “gang members”. The trope of the gang has been imported wholesale from the United States, and while it cannot be denied that a minority of youths are involved in gang activities, the numbers involved are as tiny as they were in the 1960’s, and contemporary scholars of gangs estimate that only six per cent of youths are members of ‘delinquent youth groups’ (Sharp, Aldridge, and Medina 2006). However, this has not deterred the government in particular from being seen to act upon this new social problem.
In 2007 the Home Office established a specialist subgroup, the Tackling Gangs Action Programme, overseen by a Task Force on Gangs and Guns and chaired by the Home Secretary to develop policies designed to deal with the problem of gangs. However, Hallsworth and Young locate a 2008 report as the formal acknowledgement of the British gang problem (Home Office 2008), and point out that most of the attention focused upon the British gang has been concerned with violence, and in particular the increased use of weapons (Hallsworth and Young 2008: 176). Yet most youths do not use weapons, and the main risk to them is that of becoming victims or “reluctant gangsters” (Pitts ), being dragged in to gang life as “gofers” in order to gain some protection and sense of belonging in a society that increasingly appears to focus increasingly scarce resources upon the needs of the deviant minority, and ignore the needs and requirements of ordinary NICE kids.
The N.I.C.E project seeks to encourage and reward the majority of ordinary kids who are not part of the six-percent minority who are already being targeted by the anti-gang industry. The aim is to shift the focus of attention to the non-deviant “ordinary” kids who make up the huge majority of the youthful population, and encourage a positive attitude within the peer group and within the wider community where youths are so often demonised.
N.I.C.E. Competition, MIDAS Charity,
22 Kellaway Road, Chatham, Kent ME5 8BY