TechQuest III students graduated during an event at Santa Fe College that featured the Ice House Entrepreneurship curriculum, a blended learning program supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, to empower and teach the students about the eight key areas of entrepreneurial success:
- The Power to Choose
- Recognizing Opportunity
- Ideas into Action
- Pursuit of Knowledge
- Creating Wealth
- Building Your Brand
- Creating Community
- The Power of Persistence
TechQuest instructors Jim Lilkendey, owner of Apogee Coaching, and CIED Resident Entrepreneur Bill Dorman used Ice House lectures, exercises, the book Who Owns the Ice House?, video interviews with entrepreneurs, and visits from entrepreneurial guest speakers to encourage the students to consider entrepreneurship as a viable alternative for pursing their livelihood and dreams.
“This program allows them to come in contact with many entrepreneurs who have lifted themselves up by their bootstraps into business ownership,” Lilkendey said. “While we don’t know who among the participants will get the bug to start their own business, when they leave the program they are equipped with the knowledge that it is a possibility and that there are those in our community who would support them.”
Five of the 25 TechQuest participants are high school seniors who are on track to graduate high school and attend college in the fall. Each student earned a Kindle Fire to enhance their communication, research, writing, technology and financial-literacy skills.
“I thought you had to have a lot of money to start up a business, but what I learned was you just need to have the right resources,” said Braylon Brown, a 20-year-old TechQuest III participant. “You have to research information for your business idea and the Kindle Fire is great to use. I really appreciate being given this opportunity and would like to thank FloridaWorks.”
Participants are between ages 14-21, from low-income homes and must have at least one other barrier to employment or education, such as being at risk of not graduating. Following last week’s graduation, more than 80 local students have received entrepreneurial training through TechQuest.
For more information or to track results of the TechQuest programs, click here. If interested in participating in TechQuest as a student or as a mentor, contact Calandra Bradford, WIA Youth Supervisor, at 352.244.5921.