Markia Beckwith likes to call herself “the Jeff Bezos of educational enrichment program services.” But you could argue that she’s underselling her efforts.
Markia has essentially created a marketplace for all educational and professional development enrichment services for inner-city youth, educators, communities and schools in the greater Baltimore area.
She founded Natural Born Champions (NBC), a non-profit 501(c)(3), in 2012 when she was just 18. Starting with a summer camp that still thrives a decade later, she’s evolved NBC to include year-round programming.
NBC’s mission is to keep kids out of the school-to-prison pipeline, and to promote pathways full of college and career opportunities. Kids get to participate in fun entrepreneurial pursuits, like community pop-up shops, where they develop business ideas and take these endeavors to another level.
“I wanted to capture a space I wish I could visit as a kid before, during, and after school hours,” Markia explains. The non-profit runs programming for kids starting as young as age two, provides before and after care, has virtual learning and tutoring services, tackles transportation issues, and even provides parent and family workshops.
Markia’s latest expansion project is to renovate a multipurpose community center into a hub for extracurriculars, educational enrichment, and professional development. The center will include a computer lab, study hall, and health and wellness center, with plenty of cross curriculum options. NBC is hosting a local fundraiser in August, The NBC Block Party Takeover, to raise money for renovations.
Learn more about Markia’s journey to entrepreneurship, how she’s expanding her business, and why she says Natural Born Champions has changed her own life for the better at the Weekly Campfire.