CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Building leaders today to become productive entrepreneurs in the future.
That is the goal of an entrepreneurship program for high school students at Coastal Carolina University. It is a program designed to help students achieve their dreams, as well as boost the local economy by promoting future small business owners.
In its ninth year, CCU's Each 1 Teach 1 Entrepreneur Institute has helped hundreds of students reach their full potential by teaching them life and entrepreneur skills.
The in-depth two-week summer institute provides under-served Horry County youth with the tools they need to build a successful future in education and business.
The program was initially founded and funded by Thomas Brown Jr., a retired businessman from Conway, his wife, Jesse, and their son.
For the next two weeks, the students will hear from a variety of community leaders and business owners, as well as take part in workshops, field trips and other hands-on lessons.
"We teach them life skills, leadership skills, entrepreneurship skills and we mentor them throughout the summer. We want to help young people prepare for a career, academia and life," said Yoav Wachsman, program director.
The program is designed to give the students support and guidance to become business leaders.
"I want to go into the dental field, probably own my own dental office. This program, it teaches me great leadership skills," said Tavarres Berrian, an 11th-grade student participating in the program.
Yvette Jefferson, a public relations specialist who spoke Tuesday morning, was there teaching dinner etiquette.
Jefferson said the students need to be prepared for any type of situation, adding they never know when proper etiquette could come in handy, whether at a formal dinner or a business event.
During the institute, the students will develop their own business plan. Zoaria Sweet, a 10th grader, said she wants to own a restaurant. With guidance from Each 1 Teach 1, she has developed her own business plan and vision.
"You have to start with the basis with what you want to do and how you want to do everything," Sweet said. "You have to plan out what's going to where, and how you are going to do this and how you are going to do that."
Wachsman said the program goes a long way toward keeping the Grand Strand economy strong.
"Entrepreneurship is an engine of growth in our community," Wachsman said. "There are a lot of local businesses and we depend on them for economic growth and development."
Students majoring in business and education, called Brown Scholars, lead the program and serve as mentors.
"I am glad that I can help these students," said Meghan Bellamy, a senior business major at CCU. "Even it is is just life skills that I am teaching them, they know if they need me during the school year, if they have an assignment that they need help with, they can call me, or just advice with anything."
Wachsman said the mentors are also learning from participating in the program by developing organizational and presentation skills.
"I am not a great public speaker, but being in front of these students and teaching them or having to stand in front of a classroom and lead a presentation, it's helping me because I know I will have to do that in the future," Bellamy said.
For more information on the program, can contact Yvette Jefferson at Each1Teach1CCU@gmail.com.