We want the next generation to be better than us. We are giving back to our community and are giving them every tool and everything they need, to make them better and believe in their own abilities. That is the mission for Patta Academy. Patta Academy offers young adults with entrepreneurial talent the opportunity to expand their horizons and perspectives. By doing this, we are building a sustainable community of young entrepreneurs, supported by entrepreneurs and individuals who did it before them. The focus is to train very talented and highly motivated young people in the age of 16 to 25. During this whole process we will train the “athlete mindset”, participants will gain entrepreneurial skills, tools, network, but above all perspective how to make their dreams come true. We caught up with the people behind the initiative, to give some insight into the courses, objectives and dreams for Patta Academy.

You’re on a mission to empower the next generation of us, what youth programs were around when you were younger?
When I was younger there were no youth programs I could join, I also had no network and was mostly on my own. Talent and drive is sometimes not enough, you need a network and the right people who can help you realize your dreams. That is why I am on a mission to help this generation realize their dreams, empower them and empower them so that they can follow their dreams with their languages. I know from experience how difficult this is if you don't get support and help from home or your environment. With the Patta Academy we are the community that wants to help these talented young people to become successful entrepreneurs.

What other movements have you seen that inspire you and the Patta Academy?
Frankly, my inspiration was Patta herself for their love for the community and Edson for his passion and drive to be socially involved. But also how he inspires the young people! I once asked Edson if he wanted to speak at an inspiration evening for young people and that was just wow, this motivated me to do a project with Patta. That was the birth of the Summer School. The Summer School was such a great success that this was the inspiration for the Patta Academy again.
What skills will the participants be learning over the course of the Patta Academy?
During the Patta Academy you learn everything focused on entrepreneurship, but the students also go on a journey of discovery to get to know themselves better. They do this during the lessons of Skills for Life, The Black Archives will also give them a little black history. These are 2 components that are not standard in other schools. But we do think this is an important part for the students to pass on. Entrepreneurship, marketing, presentation techniques, finance, explore creativity and sports will be the other skills that the participants will acquire during the Patta Academy.
Who are you working on the project with?
I work in this project together with a great team and I am honored to be able to work with these people in what is also a beautiful dream and passion for me. Edson Sabajo, Mohamed Dinia and Fatima Elatik is the dream team.
And of course we also have our partners who participate in this project, which are Nike, Patta, B&A and ABN AMRO.

What is it about thinking like an athlete that helps people reach success?
Sport and thinking like an athlete is an important part of the Patta Academy! Except that an athlete is driven in an ironclad discipline to achieve his goal. Is sports also an important part to get back into balance, relax, health and can it help with stress etc.

And these traits translate into professional life?
These qualities are certainly an important part of professional life! Just look at the ambitions and discipline of an athlete to achieve his goal. If you can also give this piece to the participants, there is a chance that everyone will finish everything with a smile!

How did Patta come into your life?
Patta was already in my life because I am a sneaker lover. But there came a time when I started to delve more deeply into Patta and the people behind Patta. I was impressed with their social projects and themes they were involved in. I also learned that Patta is not just a company that is only focused on getting bigger. No they find the Patta Family just as important or even more important. The love for the community where the reach is really large, the love for every color or origin. But also that Patta is more than a clothing brand, Patta is also a source of inspiration for many young people in the world!

Perspective is key in seeing what you can achieve in this world so I’m curious, the tutors on the course, what worlds are they from?
The teachers who provide the lessons come from different parts of the world with regard to their origin, Surinamese, Dutch and Morocco. We think it is important that the teachers can think within the life world of the young people. The teachers are people who come from the company or who are used to working with this target group.

What would make Patta Academy successful in your eyes?
Patta Academy would be successful for me if we can ensure that all participants pass the Patta Academy every year and that the members of each group can help to help the new participants realize their dreams again. But what can also make me happy and this is also a dream of mine, if a large part of the young people really start a business and do business with each other themselves. Would be cool if a contestant from the Patta Academy starts a big empire 

What would be the next step after this year’s Academy?
The next step or challenge would be to bring this concept abroad, for example London and Milan. But I would also think it would be cool if one day we could just have a school building in Amsterdam, where Patta Academy is on the facade. Who knows!

Why does the world need Patta Academy?
Patta Academy offers equal opportunities for everyone, Patta Academy also reaches the groups that normally cannot find the connection in society. Patta Academy wants to help young entrepreneurs realize their dreams, broaden horizons and perspectives. This will soon give you a community with young entrepreneurs. By learning from each other, we not only share knowledge and skills, but we multiply the love for entrepreneurship. Love in Motion.