Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)
On this episode of the Bourbon Friday Show, we had the opportunity to talk with Charli Cooksey, Founder and CEO of WEPOWER.
Today, the Bourbon Friday Show welcomes Charli Alexa Cooksey with WEPOWER!
Posted by EQ – Entrepreneur Quarterly STL on Friday, August 2, 2019
WEPOWER— Driven By a Vision For a Better Future
While WEPOWER may only be a little over a year old, North City St. Louis native, Cooksey, began her entrepreneurial journey over a decade ago when she moved back to St. Louis to do Teach for America.
During her second year of teaching, she and a few other faculty members started an education non-profit called inspireSTL that offered support to scholars from seventh grade up until college completion. Upon reflection, Cooksey is grateful for the opportunity to support such brilliant and motivated students, though noticed that there were still several factors working against these students such as incarceration of family members, health issues, and poverty.
Once inspireSTL merged with a larger organization, Cooksey had time to pause and gather her thoughts on what her long-term goals were for her future. After much contemplation she and several like-minded individuals worked to make WEPOWER a reality.
“When we define power, for us it means the ability to act and be self-determined,” says Cooksey. “It’s about building power so that more communities have the ability to access an excellent education or have the ability to live a life free of poverty.”
They predominantly work with African American and Latinx members in the community so they can activate their power to create the changes they want to see in society.
To do this WEPOWER mainly focuses on redesigning systems and policy in the areas of education, health, justice, and economic systems so it benefits everyone in the community. By going into communities and listening to the concerns of community members, and educating them about how to make changes, WEPOWER is able to empower communities that are often underserved and overlooked in today’s society.
If you are interested in learning more about or getting involved in WEPOWER’s initiatives, you can go to https://www.wepowerstl.org.
As always, the Bourbon Friday team does their best to choose a fitting drink for the occasion.
The drink of choice was New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey. Like Cooksey, the founder of New Riff Distillery, Ken Lewis, started his career journey in the field of education. He then worked for his family’s business before starting the New Riff Distillery in 2014 in Newport, KY.