Camp Destination Innovation offers programs designed to expose marginalized youth ages 14-18 to careers outside of traditional norms with a target focus on entrepreneurship, including social entrepreneurship. Our programs include our spring Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge held in partnership with NetWork Kansas, our four-week summer camp and our Kansas Youth Virtual Entrepreneurship Challenge. Beyond the established programs, Camp DI youth are mentored year-round and after they graduate to reinforce the message that Wichita and its surrounding area students have a city that is invested in them.
Camp Destination Innovation’s mission is to facilitate pathways for marginalized youth to achieve economic success as well as creating impactful and forward-thinking innovations in support of the Wichita community. According to the Chung Report, Wichita is challenged in maintaining human capital. Bright, talented young people are leaving at alarming rates. Meanwhile, income inequality in Wichita continues to rise. Our programs aim to address these issues. Our summer camp is the only one in Wichita that focuses solely on entrepreneurship and caters to a diverse, underserved demographic to create a more inclusive and productive economy. We have high rates of returning campers from year to year, so these young people are constantly building their knowledge and networks.
Camp Destination Innovation is a program of Destination Innovation Inc. –
Aligning boldly-resilient young people with the tools and mindset to move courageously, with purpose and discipline, to activate underserved communities.
SELECT POINTS OF PRIDE
Featured on National Small Business Association Twitter
Shark Tank and Trade Show Sponsored by Bank of America
1st place team presented to Entrepreneurship Task Force
Featured at Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala and met with Daymond John
Launch of the Camp Destination Innovation-Accelerator
Mentor-led business competition
Educational Field Trips and Sessions
Winning team presented to the Entrepreneurship Task Force
215+ served in Direct Programming
145 served during the height of the pandemic through the 2020 Kansas Youth Virtual Entrepreneurship Challenge
MEET THE FOUNDER
AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Marquetta Atkins is a community educator who brings her passion for working with youth and her creative energy to the table as a facilitator. For years she has dedicated herself to ensuring that young people are equipped with the tools for a better future. She was born and raised in Wichita, KS and graduated with a degree in Communications from Wichita State University. Her persistence in reaching her educational goals equipped her to be a mentor for high school youth in Wichita, including her own children Devon, a senior at WSU, and Aimani, a sophomore at Prairie View A&M University.
Marquetta’s passion for youth development is rooted in her conviction that youth are the change-makers we need for the transformation of our communities, both today and in the future.
In 2015, she founded Camp Destination Innovation to expose young people to a variety of career options; encouraging them to create their own future. The camp also helps youth explore strategies for entrepreneurship and civic engagement, grounding their professional development in a larger vision for whole and healthy communities.
Striving to eliminate the barriers facing young people and women as entrepreneurs, Marquetta created Women Entrepreneurs of Kansas (WeKan!), an initiative to support the growth and power of women entrepreneurs. Marquetta’s talented facilitation challenges people to question their own assumptions and dig deeper into critical awareness. Marquetta is a member of the Entrepreneurship Task Force, the Evergreen Curriculum Committee, sits on the Juneteenth committee and serves on the Innovation Committee at Wichita State University.
Her awards include winning Best in Innovation by the Wichita Business Journal, Ron Walters Leadership Award by the Wichita branch NAACP and Civic Engagement Award from Wichita Urban Professionals.
She worked for five years as the Director of Communications and Youth Development for The Seed House ~ La Casa de la Semilla. In 2021, she facilitated the transition of two of The Seed House’s youth empowerment programs, Progeny and Root the Power, to come under the hub of Destination Innovation. This move enabled Destination Innovation to expand its impact, becoming a powerhouse for youth leadership in Kansas.
Inspired by Maya Angelou, Marquetta seeks to challenge dominant narratives and create the kind of world she wants to live in.
Program and Operations Director
Margi is involved in each of Destination Innovation’s program areas and in the internal operations of Destination Innovation. Her background is in program design and facilitation, as well as in building sustainable organizational cultures. She has a Master of Divinity degree and 10 years of experience in social justice education, particularly in immigrant rights, globalization, and racial justice. Margi’s vision for social change honors the need for multiple strategies and an ecosystem of efforts. Her hope is for people to see themselves as powerful and beautiful, as change-makers capable of uprooting internalized and external oppression and creating systems of equity and dignity. She loves working at the level of personal and interpersonal transformation, where people connect themselves to a bigger vision for social change.
Yadira joined our team in 2018, entering the organization during a period of rapid development for both Progeny and Root the Power. Her work has been essential in the successful growth of these programs, helping them to become well-recognized within the Wichita community and beyond and to gain greater public involvement and support. With a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, she brings to the team her eye for design and her experience in social media, marketing, photography, and video production.
Camp Destination Innovation
Marty Bowie brings his passion for entrepreneurship, youth development, and community to the programs of Camp Destination Innovation. Born and raised in Wichita, he is a creative educator, musician, and local business owner. He is the co-founder and co-owner of House of Rock, a band performance program at Air House Music, encouraging creativity and excellence through music performance. He is also a member of the Wichita-based band Infinite Layers.
Board of Directors
Simplify My Numbers
Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice
Wichita State University
dr. michelle vann, DCC
Partners for Wichita
Kansas Leadership Center
Retreat to Joy