Popped Culture

Popcorn with a Purpose

Team Members

Mark Wieder

The Problem

Low-income high school students are more likely than middle class students to engage in street culture by committing crimes, skipping school, and using drugs, which, ultimately, perpetuates a cycle of poverty. Many schools have cut funding for art programs, music classes, drama clubs, after-school sports, and learning programs. These budget cuts have occurred mostly in low-income areas, resulting in fewer opportunities for these students.

The Solution

Studies show that after-school programs are a pathway to success in school and adult life as these activities reduce the likelihood that kids will commit crimes, skip class, and use drugs. We arrest street culture at Popped Culture by pairing at-risk high school kids with college mentors in a safe environment. Both entrepreneurs learn hands-on business skills and shoulder-to-shoulder life skills while having fun selling popcorn at a popcorn stand.

What makes us the right fit?

Mark and his team behind the scenes are the right group to tackle this problem because they are a diverse mix of individuals, varying in terms of gender, age, start-up experience, business experience, industry experience, education, and professional skills. They’re all motivated by the fact that they can come up with a creative business solution to change lives. They’re motivated by the fact that they can make a difference in our community locally and communities nationally by reducing crime, poor school performance, and drug use.