The preventive programs provided by Nice Foundation, Inc. (NFI) are in part a spinoff to the United States Code, Section 5379 of title 5, which establishes a program to allot federal dollars to repay certain types of federally made, insured, or guaranteed student loans in order to recruit or retain highly qualified personnel. The difference is NFI focuses on three debt repayment options: student loan, small business loan, and personal debt settlement.
The core principles, which drive NFI, are leadership, mentorship, entrepreneurship, and community improvement. The philosophy behind NFI’s core principles is to develop the workforce by investing in those who “made it” to give back directly and assuring accountability along the way.
- Leadership, as defined is a position or function of a guiding or directing head, is a necessity for growth and prosperity in all aspects. A strong leader can take a floundering company; invest time, energy, and the right amount of resources and nurture what was once floundering into a thriving multimillion dollar success story. A strong leader will motivate a populace to take on new tasks (that at first glance pose concern and doubt) however in the end prove beneficial to all involved.
- Mentorship, another core principle of NFI’s program, defined as a formal relationship between a student and a professional adult to further the student’s knowledge, skills, or career.
- Entrepreneurship is achieved when a business entity organizes and manages any enterprise, usually with considerable initiative and risk. These risks when coupled with strong leadership and resources provide another form of economic sustainability that is needed to thrive and revive communities. Note: Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America and Nice Foundation, Inc. will work with these entities to ensure the appropriate leadership, growth and development are coupled with a competent workforce to support community economic synergy.
- Community improvement is achieved when the appropriate level of leadership, mentorship and entrepreneurship mesh to stabilize and promote self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency transforms areas of blight to prosperity. When local businesses thrive, the greater community benefits holistically: higher standards of living, more complex road systems, more franchised stores and restaurants (potential for suburbanization). As homes serve as a steady tax base for local government and schools are achieving academic goals, crime reduces allowing the “American Dream” to materialize. NFI subscribes to the school of thought that the community’s capacity to recruit and retain talent within local businesses changes the dynamic from underserved to self-sufficient.
The NFI preventive solution is the “Pay it Forward Incentive Resources” (PiFIR) Programs described below:
1. Pay it Forward Incentive Resources (PiFIR)
PiFIR is an investment in human capital; it provides high-school students with a mentor that has experience in leadership and business. Collaboration between your organization and NFI will advance the empowerment and stability of youth in low income communities. The influx of leaders and role models in the community will provide a much needed example of success for the youth. PiFIR’s main objective is to pair a high school student with a mentor who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to guide them over the course of his entire high school career to set him on a path of independence, pride, and service for his community.
PiFIR will be the means to keep professionals paired with Milwaukee youth who would otherwise have few opportunities to engage community leaders. Each mentor will receive a paid incentive in the form of student loan repayment or personal debt relief. The individuals that receive the compensation provided by the PiFIR program will be subject to various and measured forms of assessment to ensure effectiveness and accountability.
2. Small Business Pay it Forward Incentive Resources (SB-PiFIR)
SB-PiFIR is an investment in human capital; it connects undergraduate students with a small business mentor that has experience in operations, management, program development and or implementation, etc. In exchange for teaching students valuable workforce skills the small business will receive compensation in the form of a business loan repayment.
This model facilitates community transformation, taps into the power of entrepreneurship, and empowers the small business world while concurrently connecting students to the world of work. Ultimately, this investment gives the small business world the human capital needed for development which brings viable growth to blighted communities as it improves: the tax base, housing, access to quality education and health care, etc.