CCPS enhances entrepreneurship program for high school students

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NAPLES, Fla. – High school students are getting a chance to enter the real world of business.

Local business experts will pair up with high school entrepreneurs for a class similar to the show “Shark Tank.”

“Our kids are going to develop products, pitches, ask from money from investors and it’s gong to be a program that will enable them to take this type of curriculum and skill set out to the real world when they get there,” said Dr. Tobin Walcott, principal at Golden Gate High School.

Students will work in groups of six to come up with a business plan that they hope will get picked up by the end of the year.

In order to do that, the district is looking for 120 volunteers in the business community to help bring that real world experience.

“For them to come and teach our students the curriculum. It’s mapped out for them, they can just share their personal experiences and their take on things like ideation, creating an idea, hiring people and firing people,” said Leslie Ricciardelli, executive director of secondary programs at Collier County Public Schools.

For the past two years, the district has offered an entrepreneur program for students. This year, however, they’re taking that a step further and are creating a new classroom for it.

On Tuesday, the district unveiled the first classroom completed at Golden Gate High School.

“To now have a dynamic space for our kids, to have even more community members helping as coaches, as mentors. And really it’s been not just a dream of mine because it fits in here in our entrepreneur community, it fits in for our kids to actualize the American Dream,” said Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton.

The classrooms should be completed at all the high schools by the start of the school year. It’s costing the district $18,400 to convert each classroom.

If you’d like to help coach or mentor the students, visit the INCubatoredu webpage.

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