Challenge teaches high school students the fundamentals of entrepreneurship

Penn State Lehigh Valley, Perkiomen School host Teen Entrepreneur Summer Challenge
students listening to presentation

2018 TESC campers learned how to run a lean business from Victaulic's Lindsey Hamlin, lean manager, new product development, and Dina Manoway, director of business processes, during the Idea Generation Workshop.

Credit: Valerie Peters

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — From June 18-29, rising junior and senior high school students learned the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking in their daily lives through the Teen Entrepreneur Summer Challenge (TESC), hosted by Penn State Lehigh Valley and the Perkiomen School.

This is the third year for the Lehigh Valley campus to run the challenge and the second year that Perkiomen and Penn State have partnered on this residential camp. 

group of students smiling while visiting a building

2018 TESC campers visit the Millennium Science Complex at University Park.

Credit: Valerie Peters

TESC is an initiative of the Lehigh Valley LaunchBox and is sponsored by corporate partners. This year support came from Bosch Rexroth, Victaulic, PPL and St. Luke’s University Health Network. Faculty and business leaders provided instruction, and field trips exposed students to business and STEM careers as part of the curriculum. The students were mainly from Allentown, but there were some students that came from as far away as Texas and Maryland.

"Throughout the two weeks, I had learned more than I expected," said one of the 2018 participates. "The skills I learned at the camp will most definitely be applied throughout my business career."

"TESC was one of the best experiences of my life," another participant added. "I met new people, things and places that I will forever remember. TESC has really impacted my life."

group of students posed around Nittany Lion shrine

2018 TESC campers from left to right included, Adrian DiCarlo, Jesalyn Cruz, Jason Dones, John Oskanian, Marilyn Reyes, Isaiah Ewing and Jahyda Smith.

Credit: Valerie Peters

The Teen Entrepreneur Summer Challenge culminated in a pitch competition where teams shared a new business idea to a panel of judges who are entrepreneurs or professionals in the community. The competition was held at Penn State Lehigh Valley on June 29. The winning team was Hue, a startup lifestyle brand for the LGBTQ community. 

This year the judges for the pitch competition included:

  • Michelle Landis, founder, Pinnacle 7
  • Jon Frey, manager, engineered system and solutions group, and resale industrial hydraulic products, Bosch Rexroth Corp.
  • Justine Bartholomew, strategic marketing analyst at Hartford Funds

Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

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