Friday, February 18, 2011

SXU students, local businesspeople mentor low-income high school entrepreneurs

Thornton Township High School student Tamara Byrd discusses her business idea with an SXU mentor at a previous mentoring session.

Chicago (Feb. 18, 2011) Saint Xavier University students, along with local business leaders, recently used their knowledge of marketing, finance, accounting and other subjects to mentor entrepreneurship students from low-income communities.

Students from Thornton Township High School in Harvey are participating in a yearlong business development/entrepreneurship course, which requires them to devise feasible business plans. The students presented their proposals to panels of judges composed of SXU students and local businesspeople from Midwest Bank, DRZ Enterprises and other companies on Feb. 17 at the University’s Chicago campus. Proposals included a web development company, a barbershop, a football camp in Harvey, catering business, physical training services, a DJ business and more.

Mentors previously met with students three times to provide feedback and answer questions about general college life. Students eventually will present their proposals at a citywide National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship competition, with prizes of college scholarships and seed money to start their businesses.

SXU Graham School of Management Assistant Professor and event organizer Cheryl Luczak said the Thornton students got helpful advice about their plans as well as an important boost to their confidence.

“Most of these kids will be the first in their families to go to college,” Luczak said. “Relating to a professor or an older adult is much more difficult for someone who’s 16, but when they see someone who’s 19 they think ‘I could go to college, too.’”

This event was conducted in partnership with the Graham School of Management’s Center for Service Excellence and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.



Jay Foot, Executive Director of Media Relations
O: (773) 298-3937
C: (773) 617-3632

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