This past week, I had the pleasure of serving as a mentor for the Fleischer Summer Scholars program at ASU. This week long program is tailored for economically disadvantaged high school juniors, and is a fantastic opportunity to experience college life, entrepreneurship, and business while living on campus.
This week, they sat through lectures, listening intently, soaking in every word, and taking notes to utilize in the future. These lectures focused on important subjects when it comes to success in college including entrepreneurship, finances, personal statements, and leadership and teamwork.
They also created their own ideas for an entrepreneurship venture from scratch! While a co-mentor and I facilitated project work time, these students ultimately put together the project themselves.
My team's product was called the "HydroShield", an automatic, stainless steel pool cover that opens only to the fingerprint of a parent or guardian and closes when the sensors recognize that no one is left in the pool.
Their goal with the product was to prevent drownings, as it is a big issue in Arizona. My students identified their market, created a business model, made a 3-D replica of the product, and more. Some late nights later, they finished their presentation and were ready for the next task.
Throughout the week, the students had networked with multiple W.P. Carey faculty and staff, and even met the program's namesake, Mr. Mort Fleischer. After finalizing their presentation, the scholars actually had the opportunity to pitch their idea to these people! They were proud of the final project (as was I), and the presentation was FANTASTIC!
While the networking events, resource fair, etiquette dinner, and other activities were a blast, my favorite part of the week was seeing these scholars grow as individuals. I witnessed creativity skyrocket, confidence flourish, and the adaptability of these high schoolers transform into that of college students.
When I reflect on the week, I realize how much joy and fulfillment I received from this program. Obviously, I'm passionate about my higher education and I'm passionate about the business school here at ASU, but being able to harbor that passion to help these students get familiar with college, and being able to ENCOURAGE them to attend, was the best part.
I'm looking forward to seeing some of these students on campus next year, but meanwhile, I'll be helping them get prepared by providing recommendations, advice, and feedback on essays, applications, and college in general.
This week just strengthened my love for helping others; it made me love what I do and what I study even more, and it reminds me how lucky I am to be attending the greatest university in the country. If anyone ever gets the chance to apply to be a part of this program, I cannot recommend it enough.
Stay tuned for more things I'll be involved with next year through W.P. Carey, and remember...forks up!