In today’s economy, the workforce’s needs are shifting and we find ourselves in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty. Yet, we know who will lead our country into the new era of economic prosperity. Thundering into the workforce, innovators and creators will have the world in their hands, and are allowed to shape it however they want. New abilities being stressed, like critical-thinking and innovation, must be taught in places of learning if we want to see economic prosperity at our fingertips. If students don’t possess the skills necessary to succeed in this modern, creativity-focused economy, it hurts not just the students, but the entire country. An entrepreneurship class that focuses on letting learners find their passion, grow skills such as collaboration and empathy, and work on real world-impacting projects fulfills a curriculum needed throughout every American school.
When studying entrepreneurship, students will feel an intense drive to find their passion. When students are discovering their personal ambitions will give them more clarity when answering the age old question, “ What do you want to do when you grow up?” This forward thinking approach to student’s futures will boost their long term chances of success. As said by Asim Dalal of Entrepreneur.com, “Passion…is the chief driver of successful entrepreneurship anywhere in the world.” He also stated passion supplies the “inherent fuel and inexhaustible stamina” allowing entrepreneurs to “overtake and surpass various challenges.” Dalal knows how important finding one’s passion at a young age is as he was drawn to his passion, retail, when he was still a student and ultimately made his business into a nationally recognized store in India. What if every person in the U.S schooling system had the ability to, at the very least, find what their inner drive is? It would lay the groundwork for an economic boom, as students coming out of high school would possess a clearer picture of the occupation, the major, or the passion they want to pursue by taking this class. And while one could argue, “Dalal is an exception”, such is not true. Thousands of people who, just by finding their passion, have gone on to change their community, their state, their nation, and even the world. Take for example the girl waging an international war on climate change, Greta Thunberg. If she didn’t have the space her parents and school allowed her to create, where would she be today; She’d be nowhere! If we can help students find their love for something in their youth or adolescence, we can maximize the chances of their success by letting them find not only their innermost ambitions, but allowing them to explore and discover what truly drives them in life.
Students that study entrepreneurship are also better suited to lead and work with others in the workforce. Such study would stress collaboration and joint projects, allowing classtakers to realize what unique skills they possess and offer when facing certain situations. Discovering one’s certain set of abilities immediately allows them to enter the workforce advertising their skills, instead of figuring them out on the job. This could lead
to higher paying jobs right out of high school or college. And, if a former student is starting a business, it would offer a better understanding of what skill sets to look for company partners. A class that focuses on entrepreneurship breeds teamwork, and out of teamwork comes an environment appertaining to racial, gender, and sexual equality. Everyone learning and studying the impacts of innovation and the impacts of entrepreneurship, must work together on important entreprises with real world impacts. This type of work requires each pupil to value each other and work together with peers from different backgrounds. Students put into these situations are automatically more socially-conscious citizens and have a much more refined world view, compared to someone who stayed within their own circle. According to Entrepreneur.com, “women are starting businesses at one and a half times the rate of the national average” and minorities now “account for $591 billion in revenue” making up “15% of all businesses”. In a time where prejudice and animosity are so prevalent, an entrepreneurship class can combat these forces. It can inspire a modern economy that eliminates the excessive biases present in our workforce today, where every race, every creed, and every identity has an equal opportunity to succeed in their passion.
If doubt still exists that an entrepreneurship centric class should be required throughout American schools, take a look at my school’s (Perkiomen Valley High School), initial attempt at such a class, of which I am currently enrolled in. In its opening iteration, the class, called Innovation Lab, has already harvested multiple real-world influencing projects in just its first months. Project missions range from increasing the amount of young voters, to hosting a music festival with a focus on gifted, local musicians, to restoring people’s love of the outdoors through trips to local natural wonders. What you might be thinking is: all these projects sound great in theory (they do), have they really come to fruition? Well, the answer to that question is yes, they have. Living Now, whose mission consists of expanding the younger generation’s love for nature, has seen sizable growth in their social media since the posting of their first video and have had great success selling clothing apparel to their followers, just within two months of the brand beginning. Stomping Grounds Music Festival, which is my creation, has partnered with Ursinus College’s 125th Anniversary festival and is bringing their own stage and artists to the event, which has the opportunity to host over 4,000 people. Not to be forgotten, Make It 100 allowed over 80 high school seniors to register to vote in the upcoming primary and election! These three success stories are just a few of the multiple projects to come out of the class. Think if we put something like this in every single school in America! Not only would we be allowing students to gain real world interaction, we would have a plethora of new, innovative business ideas that its founders would have much more time to refine and grow. These projects are occuring while students are studying what makes a successful entrepreneur, and uncovering our passions. All of Innovation Lab’s learning can be described as an evolving process through an in-class exercise called Project Wayfinder. Wayfinder is conducted every Monday, and it gives students different objectives having to do with one’s purpose in life. I know from personal experience that Innovation Lab has had a great effect on not only my willingness to learn, but my drive to succeed, and I want that for each and every student in America.
If you are interested in learning more about NOVA LAb and projects being completed in the class, all project’s social media and blogs, as well as Nova Lab’s own blog and youtube, are linked below:
Instagram and Facebook: @Stompinggroundsfest
Make It 100: