Four teams of Roseville High School students faced off Tuesday, May 22, in an entreneurship competition that granted each group from $750 to $1,000 in start-up funds to help them implement ther plans for improving the school and community.
A panel of judges awarded funds based on each team's budget and a deisre to challenge the students to be entrepreneurial, according to Spectra Myers, manager for Ashoka's Twin Cities Youth Venture, a sponsor of the program.
The four Roseville High School teams that participated were:
• Food Shelf Venture , which is working to start a pantry at Roseville High School to provide food and toiletries to students and their families. It was awarded $1,000 in start-up funding. Team members are Rada Kolarova, Laura Wilberts, Grace Alexander, and Martha Teka.
• Courtyard Venture, which is planning to rebuild the deck, install a peace pole, and use native plants to make the school’s courtyard a living classroom accessible to students, teachers and staff. It won $1,000 in start-up funding. Team members include Nikkolas Aries, Debranique Pitter, and Lois Estrada-Guzman.
• Homecoming Traditions Venture, which wants to create positive new homecoming traditions to reduce incidents of bullying and create an inclusive school culture. Homecoming Traditions Venture, including Julian Lopez, Rhema Dapaah, Andrea Loera. Awarded $800 in start-up funding.
• Moon Walk Venture, a new initiative of the Earth Group, is planning a fun evening walk fundraiser to increase community awareness of simple steps to be green while raising funds to improve the sustainability of the school. The judges awarded this team $750 in start-up funding. Team members are Rada Kolarova and Grace Alexander.
A panel of community members judged each team's proposal. Panelists included Kathy Lentz, Greater Twin Cities United Way; Dan Rasmuseen, SimplexGrinnell; Josh Reimnitz, Students Today, Leaders Forever and Kristi Hemmer, 168coaching.
The pilot program at Roseville High School is being supported by the Greater Twin Cities United Way and Ashoka’s Youth Venture. The purpose of the program is to encourage and support students in their quest for their school to become a “changemaker” school, according to officials at Youth Venture and the Greater Twin Cities United Way.
The goal of the Ashoka's Youth Venture initiative is to assist young people who believe they can help create positive community change, according to officials with the program. The noted that nearly 74 percent of young people surveyed by the Search Institute believe they can make a difference. The challenge lies in helping them believe that their energy can be used to improve society right now.
Ashoka said it developed the Youth Venture concept from the experiences and insights of its more than 3,000 social entrepreneurs selected as Fellows. Standout Ashoka Fellows include: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales; Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunu and Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp.
Ashoka’s Youth Venture operates in 18 countries. Information on its local efforts can be found at http://usa.ashoka.org/twincities.