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Elms to Give $2,500 Scholarship to JA EnTEENpreneur Winner

CHICOPEE — Recognizing the importance of inspiring young people to pursue their professional dreams, Elms College announced it will work with Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM) to award a scholarship of $2,500 to the winner of the fourth annual JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge in March 2018.

Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts started the JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge in 2015, and Elms College has been deeply involved in supporting JA’s youth entrepreneurship outreach efforts. The college hosts a yearly Pitch Camp for all middle-grade and high-school students involved in the JA It’s My Business program or the JA Company Program, giving participating students insight into how to develop a business pitch and helping them to craft pitches for their own businesses.

This year, for the fourth Annual JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge, Elms College will give the winning student, on behalf of the college’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, a $2,500, one-time, non-transferable scholarship for their freshman year. If the winning company comprises more than one student, the students will split up to $5,000 in scholarships. If the team includes non-high-school seniors, those students can defer the award until their freshman year at Elms.

“Elms College has a mission to give back to the community,” said Amanda Garcia, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at Elms College. “We know that economic development and entrepreneurship is a big part of making our community better. We strongly believe in supporting the entrepreneurial spirit at a younger age, and the JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge offers a perfect venue to inspire and support future business leaders.”

When they arrive at Elms, the scholarship winners will be able to take advantage of the CEL’s academic offerings, which include a major in entrepreneurship and an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship. The CEL offers a strong foundation in core business concepts using Lean LaunchPad, a startup methodology for gaining immediate customer feedback in the marketplace during the launch of a business. The Lean LaunchPad model allows startups owners to learn as they grow their businesses and react to market demands.

“Elms College is an outstanding educational partner with Junior Achievement,” said JAWN President Jennifer Connolly. “Elms students, faculty, and staff volunteer to present more than 40 JA programs each year, and from the beginning Elms has supported JA’s entrepreneurial programs. Being able to tell our JA Company Program students that not only could they win a cash prize of $500 but a scholarship to further their education and follow their passion for entrepreneurship is a dream come true for JA of Western Massachusetts. For nearly 100 years, JAWM has been inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in life and the world of business, and now we can see those young people continue their journey beyond high school, thanks to Elms College.”

The fourth annual JA EnTEENpreneur Challenge will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the UMass Center at Springfield. Members of the public who would like more information or to become involved can contact Connolly at (413) 747-7670 or [email protected].

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