Some of you may have heard of Entrepreneurship for the Public Good (EPG), but may not know what exactly it is or if its right for you.
Can you imagine a summer filled with unparalleled hands-on learning opportunity, unforgettable memories and a network committed to helping you achieve your goals?
EPG is a two summer program which trains and cultivates a cohort of twenty candidates in abilities to pursue and implement bother social and commercial enterprises. During the first summer, candidates are put through rigorous training in entrepreneurial leadership skills and values, and during the second summer, EPG faculty works closely with the candidates to design and sponsor an individual DFE (Directed Field Experience) for that candidate based on their goals and abilities.
Students learn to engage in complexity and uncertainty, explore values and ethical structures, facilitate group decisions, recognize opportunities, mobilize resources and advocate change.
1. PRACTICAL learning experience.
In most classes, you are taught from a text book. However, in EPG, you will get the chance to learn from hands-on experience, moving out of the classroom and into the field. You will learn hands-on methods of implementing change in your environment through community based interaction and learning. EPG is all about the practical implementation of change, rather than dealing vaguely with theory and text.
2. Support networks.
The twenty people of your cohort, and those from previous cohorts, will become an indispensable resource to you. Because of the diversity of their majors, and the many different parts of the world in which they go to you will have networks and support systems everywhere. These people will be an asset to you the rest of your lives, and trust me, you will be glad you have them.
3. EPG is for everyone.
From Computer Science to Theatre majors, EPG accepts everyone. It is based on a multidisciplinary approach which encourages not only diversity based on normal precepts (race, geography, gender), but also on learning styles, passions and interests. Many people assume that Entrepreneurship is solely for business majors, but really, each cohort is extremely diverse. (I myself am a political science major.) EPG recognizes the inherent worth of every major and discipline, and works with students to ensure their goals are sustainable in the real world.
If you are interested in positive change and innovation, no matter what your major, this is the program for you.
4. It's affordable.
A very important aspect for Berea students in particular is the programs affordability. EPG gives all students a stipend of $3000 during EACH of their summers with the EPG institute. This ensures that EPG students are financially able to pursue their goals and ambitions.
5. Out door adventure
In addition to having all the great benefits mentioned above, because the first summer will be teaching you entrepreneurial concepts through hands-on learning experience in Appalachia, (particularly with a focus on adventure tourism) you will find that you'll spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. Biking, hiking, mountain-climbing, kayaking are all possibilities for your adventure. It will change depending on what enterprises/businesses you are exploring/hoping to promote that summer, but one thing is for sure, Dr. Hackbert will keep you busy!
6. Further opportunities.
EPG offers and helps with a plethora of opportunities year-round, from the Sullivan Retreats, to the Berea Innovation Studio, you will have access to these spaces and continued chances to develop your skills as a leader and entrepreneur. In the picture above you see myself and my teammates, Tran Nguyen and Ishwar Agarwal at the beginning stages of our Laundromat concept for the Idea State-U competition. We would later go on to win 3rd in the state, along with about $4000 in prize money. The Idea State-U competition is just one of the many opportunities you will get connected to as part of the EPG network. (Note, you don't have to be an EPG student to do these activities, but it certainly gives you an edge.)
Overall, EPG is an unforgettable experience that you are sure not to regret. If you're interested in this great opportunity, EPG accepts Freshman and Sophomores, and applications are due November 15th. To find out more, and apply, please go here.
I wish you the best of luck, and hope you apply!