BOONE, N.C. — This July, Appalachian State University will host the 2022 Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA) — an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) initiative aimed at preparing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and thinkers.
Open to high school students from across the 13 states included in the Appalachian region, AEA is a two-week, free residential program in which students participate in experiential learning designed to cultivate creativity and develop skills that are essential for entrepreneurial success. A total of 26 students, selected via a competitive application process, will take part in the program.
Students will also develop and implement their own business ideas, refine and prototype those ideas and then present them to an audience of entrepreneurs as part of the program’s culminating pitch competition.
The university’s High Country location provides participants opportunities to embrace and celebrate the culture and diversity of the Appalachian region, said Dr. Tracie McLemore Salinas, co-director of AEA at App State.
In addition to the work of developing their businesses, students will explore the region through extracurricular activities such as hiking, visiting local attractions and attending arts and music performances, and engage in on-campus recreational activities, including swimming, gaming and playing sports.
AEA is a partnership between ARC, App State, the National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (EntreEd) and STEM West in Hickory.
App State received more than $260,000 in grant funding from ARC to support the 2022 AEA project. The funding awardees:
- Salinas, professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and director of App State’s Mathematics and Science Education Center.
- Corinne Smith, director of App State’s GEAR UP program.
- Doug Thompson, assistant director of curriculum and instructional design in App State’s College Access Partnerships.
The costs of learning materials, housing, travel and food are covered for AEA students. To learn more about the program and apply, visit https://www.arc.gov/appalachian-entrepreneurship-academy/.
App State’s awarded ARC grant is administered by the Mathematics and Science Education Center.
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About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.