The North Iowa Area Community College John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center conducted the Youth Entrepreneurial Academy on June 15-19. Nineteen high school students representing nine school districts participated in this year’s camp.
The NIACC JPEC extended invitations to all North Iowa juniors and seniors via area high school guidance counselors and teachers earlier this year. Applicants were asked to complete an application packet including recommendations by teachers, counselors and parents followed by an interview with JPEC staff.
The objectives of the Youth Entrepreneurial Academy were to expose students to entrepreneurship, provide students with an opportunity to apply their skills and creativity, help students understand critical thinking skills and give students another career option of being a “job creator” instead of a “job taker.”
Randy Smit, NIACC Marketing/Management instructor; Brad and Angie Barber, owners of Cabin Coffee Company; and Tim Putnam, NIACC JPEC associate director, served as instructors. Dan Long and Heather Horner, Mason City High School instructors, served as counselors during the Academy.
Following the daily classroom activities, the students traveled to several area businesses to learn first-hand from area entrepreneurs. Participants visited Manly and Northwood on Monday evening and toured the Manly Terminal and the Worth Brewing Company. They also heard presentations from Kim Miller, Worth County Development Authority, and Margaret Bishop, Bishop Energy Engineering. On Tuesday, the participants visited TeamQuest Corporation, Ge-Jo’s by the Lake and enjoyed a special performance from the former Miss Iowa, Diana Reed, in Clear Lake.
Funding for the 2008 academy was provided by the NIACC JPEC and the John K. and Luise V. Hanson Foundation.