Academic Challenge offers new entrepreneurial program

Students (clockwise from front) Katherine O’Leary, Tanner Savage, Joe VanderVossen, instructor Jenn Thompson and Mason Hayes paint during a teamwork exercise. SOURCE SUBMITTED
March 23, 2013

Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple Inc., once said, “To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.” Those disciplines necessary to succeed in business are the focus of a new Entrepreneurial Enlightenment Program offered to students as part of Delaware Tech’s Academic Challenge Program at the Owens Campus in Georgetown.

The Entrepreneurial Enlightenment Program is a five-year, after-school program developed for Academic Challenge students from eighth through 12th grade. The program offers hands-on learning to give students the fundamentals of starting and sustaining a business. With a focus on igniting creativity, critical thinking, personal initiative and resourcefulness, students are given the opportunity to develop the leadership skills necessary for entrepreneurial success.

“We’re very excited about this program,” said Academic Challenge Coordinator Elizabeth Dolan. “We’ve got 22 eighth-graders in the pilot group this year, and they’re having a great time learning through activities and lessons that build skills like personal awareness, leadership, collaboration and problem solving.”

During the first two years, emphasis is on the development of the entrepreneur through a series of personal and team challenges. Third-year students will focus on acquiring business skills, as well as the financial considerations and the self care necessary to stay competitive in the business world. In year four, students will learn leadership skills as they shift from team members to team leaders. By the final year, students will be in position to jump-start their very own business ventures, complete with company mission statement, business plan, marketing strategy, financial projections and operating plan.

For more information about the Academic Challenge Program go to

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