NWFSC Launches Entrepreneurship Program For High Schoolers

Northwest Florida State College introduces the ELM Youth Program, providing high school students in Okaloosa and Walton counties with opportunities in entrepreneurship, leadership, and mentorship. Designed for rising juniors and seniors, the program offers workshops, community engagement, and a focus on building future leaders.

Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) has unveiled an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors in Okaloosa and Walton counties by launching the Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Mentorship (ELM) Youth Program. Developed by NWFSC’s Workforce Development department, this innovative 10-month program prepares students for diverse careers in fields they can pursue through non-traditional academic paths.

The college has centered the curriculum on entrepreneurship and business but welcomes all eligible students regardless of their career interests. 

The program aims to equip participants with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in their chosen fields.

Scheduled to kick off in August 2024, the program will feature monthly meetings, commencing with an Orientation/meet-and-greet on August 29, 2024, and culminating in a Graduation and awards Ceremony in May 2025. 

There are no application or participation fees for the inaugural year of the ELM Youth Program.

Students enrolled in the program can expect a rich array of workshop topics, including:

  • Small business and nonprofits
  • Local government and civics
  • Personal finance and business fundraising
  • Environmentalism, conservation, and restoration
  • Networking, teamwork, and communication skills
  • Introduction to various trades and vocational paths
  • Physical and mental wellness
  • Local arts and culture
  • Future planning for education and careers

Throughout the year, participants will be able to develop a comprehensive business plan, interact with community leaders and experts, and engage in philanthropic events to earn community service hours.

Dr. G. Devin Stephenson, President of NWFSC, expressed the college’s commitment to fostering the next generation of leaders and innovators. “At Northwest Florida State College, we believe in nurturing the next generation of leaders and innovators. The ELM Youth Program represents a commitment to our youth,” Dr. Stephenson said. “Our aim is to equip the next generation with the skills, knowledge, and experiences necessary to build successful futures for themselves and, in turn, enrich the counties of Okaloosa and Walton.”

To be eligible for participation, students must attend a public or private school in Okaloosa or Walton County or enrolled in a home education program. 

They must also be rising juniors or seniors for the 2024-2025 school year with a current GPA of 2.0 or higher. Guardian and high school approval are required for participation.

The application process for the ELM Youth Program is now open, with submissions due by May 15, 2024. Interested students can find the application here. 

For additional information or to inquire about supporting the program, please contact Claire Ramos, Program Coordinator, at elmyouth@nwfsc.edu or 850-729-5220.

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