Grove City Students Get Lesson in Social Entrepreneurship

GROVE CITY, Pa. – Grove City College students received a lesson in social entrepreneurship from local charitable agencies this past fall.

In collaboration with the Grove City Foundation, 25 students enrolled in the college’s social entrepreneurship class split into four teams to work with Children’s Aid Society of Mercer County, Grove City YMCA, George Junior Republic and the Hope Center for Arts and Technology.

After learning about the organizations, teams worked with leadership to solve a problem facing each agency. Developing solutions was a central component to the class’ final project.

One of the students, Jordan Horst of Aurora, Ohio, says he appreciated the chance to get real-world experience in the community because most external school projects are done remotely and can seem like a simulation.

“Actually having the ability to visit the location and meet the people affected by the program made it more authentic,” Horst says.

“Getting the students off campus to learn about the commitment it takes to run a successful organization was an invaluable experience for them,” says Tim Sweet, professor of entrepreneurship at Grove City College. “By having the students then come up with the solution to a real world problem and explain how that solution would fit into the organization’s structure, it gave them the opportunity to think like an executive director.”

The Grove City Foundation provided each organization with $500 to help execute the students’ solutions. Students handed the checks to organization representatives who attended in-class presentations of the solutions. The foundation is one of six affiliations that make up the Community Foundation of Western PA & Eastern OH.

“Our region is blessed with incredible charitable organizations that work on a daily basis to help improve the lives of those in our community that need it most,” says the Community Foundation’s executive director, Kyle English. “It made perfect sense to have the students learn from – and also help – the local leaders that are running these terrific organizations.”

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