“Entrepreneurs can be successful in a small community where everyone knows each other and wants to see you succeed.” –D.R.I.V.E. camper
Eighteen creative young innovators participated in a week of immersion into a world of entrepreneurial thinking and creative business development during the D.R.I.V.E. Summer Camp at historic Marietta College in June. The annual camp, offered through the Young Entrepreneurs Consortium is geared toward rising 7–12th graders. This year’s campers were joined by five Marietta College students, three current Marietta College faculty/staff members, six Marietta City Schools’ teachers, and two Building Bridges to Careers’ staff members for a fun-filled week of hands-on learning, skill development, and exploration.
Campers had several opportunities to learn about exciting new technology and ways to create and develop their own ideas for new ventures by visiting Whit’s Custard, REsolve Studio, Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Pickering Energy Solutions and 1Million Cups Cleveland at Red Space/Hot Cards. In addition, speakers from ClutchMOV and West Virginia Social Media Consultants, LLC visited to share expertise. The focus of the week was to identify and work on an entrepreneurship project in a chosen area of focus: technology, art, energy/sustainability, education, and community service.
Activities included design thinking, personal reflection, social media, community service, marketing, and public speaking. Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication–all 21 century skills–were emphasized during the camp. One camper remarked, “Seeing all these people become entrepreneurs makes me feel like I can.”
The weeklong camp produced a network of new friends, college student mentors, and academic and professional advisers. “I believe that I possess some of the needed skills,” shared a camper. Added another, “I know what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”
The YEC extends a special thank you to Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, Director of Civic Engagement at Marietta College, for organizing and overseeing the camp.