CHICOPEE and SPRINGFIELD—Recognizing the importance of inspiring young people to pursue their professional dreams, College of Our Lady of the Elms has announced that it will work with Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts to award a scholarship of $2,500 to the winner of the fourth annual JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge in March 2018.
Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM) started the JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge in 2015, and Elms College has been deeply involved in supporting JA’s youth entrepreneurship outreach efforts: The college hosts a yearly Pitch Camp for all middle-grade and high school students involved in the JA It’s My Business program or the JA Company Program, giving participating students insight into how to develop a business pitch and helping them to craft pitches for their own businesses.
This year, for the 4th Annual JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge, Elms College will give the winning student, on behalf of the college’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, a $2,500 one-time, non-transferable scholarship for their freshman year. If the winning company comprises more than one student, the students will split up to $5,000 in scholarship. If the team includes non-high school seniors, those students can defer it until their freshman year at Elms.
“Elms College has a mission to give back to the community,” said Amanda Garcia, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at Elms College. “We know that economic development and entrepreneurship is a big part of making our community better. We strongly believe in supporting the entrepreneurial spirit at a younger age, and the JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge offers a perfect venue to inspire and support future business leaders.”
When they arrive at Elms, the scholarship winners will be able to take advantage of the CEL’s academic offerings, which include a major in entrepreneurship and an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship. The CEL offers a strong foundation in core business concepts using Lean LaunchPad, a startup methodology for gaining immediate customer feedback in the marketplace during the launch of a business. The Lean LaunchPad model allows startups owners to learn as they grow their businesses and react to market demands.
“Elms College is an outstanding educational partner with Junior Achievement,” said JAWN President Jennifer Connolly. “Elms students, faculty, and staff volunteer to present more than 40 JA programs each year, and from the beginning Elms has supported JA’s entrepreneurial programs. Being able to tell our JA Company Program students that not only could they win a cash prize of $500 but a scholarship to further their education and follow their passion for entrepreneurship is a dream come true for JA of Western Massachusetts. For nearly 100 years, JAWM has been inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in life and the world of business, and now we can see those young people continue their journey beyond high school, thanks to Elms College.”
The 4th Annual JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge will be held on March 22, 2018, at the UMASS Springfield Center. Members of the public who would like more information or to become involved can contact Connolly at (413) 747-7670 or [email protected]
About Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and free enterprise. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. JA offers educational programs that focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. Today more than Junior Achievement Worldwide reaches almost seven million students in 98 countries. For more information, visit jawm.org.
About Elms College
Elms College is a co-educational Catholic college offering a liberal arts curriculum that gives students multiple perspectives on life. Founded in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Elms College has a tradition of educating reflective, principled and creative learners, who are rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, responsive to civic and social obligations, and capable of adjusting to change without compromising principle.