Digital Entrepreneurship Magnet (Grades 6-8)

Through our partnerships with NFTE (Networking for Teaching Entrepreneurship) and LEEO (Linking Education and Employment Outcomes) we strive to inspire students to stay in school, recognize business opportunities, and plan for successful futures locally and abroad.

About NFTE

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures.

At Dillard, we believe that entrepreneurship education for all youth will grow the global economy and provide opportunities for young people to own their future. NFTE_logo2

Entrepreneurship education is the fundamental tool for creating an ongoing cycle of learning and innovation that will bring sustainable job creation and re-creation. Young people face historic increases in joblessness, an unemployment rate that is three times higher than that of adults, and a rapidly shifting economy.

Technology and capital are driving this economic change. As a result, the global economic crisis itself is driving change. Success is increasingly defined as the ability to build, scale and adapt a business quickly in the digital world. Entrepreneurship education is a tool that can equip young people to not only start businesses and create jobs, but also to be opportunity-focused, flexible employees ready to fill existing jobs.

NFTE fosters the creation of businesses and the development of a adaptable, driven and opportunity-focused workforce that ultimately promotes economic stability.  External research has shown that NFTE graduates start and maintain businesses at substantially higher rates than their peers. Other research findings indicate the following trends:

  • Increased interest in attending college
  • Greater occupational aspirations
  • Improved scores in independent reading

Read more about NFTE research results.

“Not every young person wants to work for a big business, so we need a systemic approach to teach them entrepreneurship, and NFTE has the best program in the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

NFTE helps young people see their futures in a different, positive way.

About LEEO

Linked Education and Employment Outcomes (LEEO)

The program scaffolds computer instruction and employability skills to ensure students will become proficient in a specified technological area and acquire the skills necessary to compete in a global society.  Students will receive “Industry Certification in Microsoft Office.”


Essentially, in grades 6-8, students can earn three industry certifications in beginning the journey to become an IT Technician (think of Silicon Valley California, Facebook, etc.).  After attending Dillard for the three years and three elective courses (Powerpoint 6, Microsoft 7, Excel 8), students can continue on to Dillard’s Emerging Computer Technology Program to finish their certifications (other necessary technology courses) and then either continue on to college for higher level technological pursuits OR get an IT (high paying) job just by completing these middle and high school courses.  Please also know paying for IT certifications is costly, but of course, free, in our Digital Entrepreneurship/Emerging Computer Technology Magnet.