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    A class of juniors at Louisville Collegiate recently developed a student awareness toolkit for Hope Scarves, a local nonprofit that supports women with cancer through stories and encouragement. Lara MacGregor, the founder of Hope Scarves and a member of the Louisville Collegiate community, presented students with issues affecting her business. The students then worked to create solutions and presented ideas to Lara.

    “Collegiate’s entrepreneurial studies program creates unique opportunities and provides students with authentic fieldwork that will develop creative problem solving skills necessary for real life,” said Kyle Manning, Louisville Collegiate alumni director and creative problem solving instructor.

    Over the years, Collegiate’s Upper School students have completed projects for a variety of local businesses including Safai Coffee, Comfy Cow, Bourbon Barrel Foods, Highland Cleaners, General Electric Appliances, Homepage Realty, Edj Analytics, the Louisville Mini Maker Faire and more.
     


    Photo: Collegiate’s Upper School students pitching to Highland Cleaners.

    “Making a pitch to a CEO in a company boardroom feels more relevant to our students compared to delivering a presentation within the walls of a high school classroom. The students are intrinsically motivated to do their best because they want to impress the CEO, and they know that their final work has the potential to impact a local business in our community,” said Tracie Catlett, associate head of school, director of admission and entrepreneurial studies teacher at Collegiate. Catlett spearheaded efforts to launch entrepreneurial education at Collegiate several years ago.

    “The program creates true-life scenarios, not mock classroom situations,” Manning said.



    Photo: Collegiate students presenting marketing ideas to Collegiate’s Admission and Marketing teams.

    As pioneers in developing entrepreneurship programming for students in Louisville and the local region, Collegiate’s Upper School began offering entrepreneurship studies in 2014. With a $14 million newly renovated campus located in the Highlands, easy access to local businesses and a new Center for Entrepreneurship, Engineering and Design (CEED), students enrolled at Collegiate are positioned to engage in cutting-edge education that connects them directly to the local community.

    Catlett had the idea to bring an entrepreneurship program to life at Collegiate in a calculus class. “Years ago as a math teacher, I was approached by a friend and local business owner who asked me if I thought my AP Calculus students could solve a problem that his company was having,” she said. “He presented the problem to the class and the students successfully developed a solution to the business problem using integral calculus. The students, in essence, were working for the business, and this sparked a level of enthusiasm that I never experienced in the calculus classroom. I wanted students that weren’t enrolled in AP Calculus to have the same experience, which ultimately gave birth to our entrepreneurship program at Collegiate.”


    Photo: An entrepreneurship class at Collegiate.

    Catlett went on to say, “Collegiate gives students the creative freedom to think ambitiously. Entrepreneurial education requires our students to translate problems into opportunities, research the current market, engage in risk-taking and build interpersonal communication skills. Not only do our students graduate college-ready, they graduate world-ready as problem solvers, thinkers and risk-takers.”

    Seniors at Collegiate take their learning to a new level. Each student is required to participate in an off-campus internship. “Time off campus brings their entrepreneurial mindset to the real world, deepening their professional networks while logging invaluable workplace experiences,” said James Calleroz White, Collegiate’s head of school.

    The students find the experience invaluable. “Because we were helping an actual business, the pressure was on. But I think that’s what made the class so much fun,” said junior Zion Snardon. Aidan McClelland, also a junior, added, “The Creative Problem Solving class gave me a great opportunity to help out a local non-profit organization. It also taught valuable life lessons on how to reason through issues."

    For more information about Louisville Collegiate and the Entrepreneurship program, contact Tracie Catlett, Associate Head of School, 502.479.0395, tcatlett@loucol.com. All photos courtesy of Louisville Collegiate School.

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