Students pitch business plans in scholarship quest

Published 10.20.2023

Photos by Jennifer A. Cline, writer/magazine editor

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Three-hundred twenty entrepreneurial middle and high school students fill the Field House.
Three-hundred twenty entrepreneurial middle and high school students fill the Field House.

On Wednesday, Penn College hosted Step 2 of the Pennsylvania Council on Financial Literacy’s “Dream Learn Pitch” competition for K-12 students.

“The goal today is we’re helping all the students develop their business plan,” said Eric Attinger, chief communications officer for Penn CFL.

Mark A. Ciavarella, associate professor of business administration/management at Penn College, and Tim Keohane, director of the Small Business Development Center at Penn State, offered instruction to lead participants through that process.

The 320 participating high school and middle school students in attendance had already arrived with their “dream” – a business idea, Attinger explained, and over the next few months will refine the business plan they initiated at Penn College. They will “pitch” their idea by uploading their perfected business plan to Penn CFL by March 13. Up for grabs are 30 prizes, the grand prize of which is a $10,000 Penn College scholarship.

Mark A. Ciavarella, associate professor of business administration/management, engages participants in a conversation about competitors.
Mark A. Ciavarella, associate professor of business administration/management, engages participants in a conversation about competitors.
Students from Milton talk with their instructor about the business plan for their idea – a robotic leaf sweeper (think Roomba for the yard).
Students from Milton talk with their instructor about the business plan for their idea – a robotic leaf sweeper (think Roomba for the yard).
A young mind from the Wallenpaupack Area School District takes notes as Ciavarella offers points to ponder.
A young mind from the Wallenpaupack Area School District takes notes as Ciavarella offers points to ponder.
Lewisburg Area School District students talk through their plan with a teacher.
Lewisburg Area School District students talk through their plan with a teacher.
Tim Keohane, director of the Small Business Development Center at Penn State, interacts with a group.
Tim Keohane, director of the Small Business Development Center at Penn State, interacts with a group.