SPARKING THE FIRE OF STUDENT ENTREPRENEURIAL INNOVATION THROUGH NEXT
Thomas More University scholarships and more are awarded to students participating in Square1’s program.
Hundreds of high school students are getting a crash course in innovation and entrepreneurship in the hopes of winning scholarships to Thomas More University through Square1’s NEXT business development program. NEXT is a youth development program that utilizes innovation and entrepreneurship skills in preparing the next generation to lead, create, and succeed in competitive academic and business environments. Schools looking to engage with Square1 can do so through the Jan. 31, 2023, deadline for the upcoming contest.
“Square1 gives students the opportunity to step outside the classroom and experience real business situations,” says Sandy Roark, teacher at Beechwood High School. Square1 provides unique experiential learning opportunities and paid internships to students allowing them to see firsthand how a small company operates, including social media, design, and sales opportunities.
Through regular workshops, NEXT educates students to learn how to identify problems, create ideas, and design their paths. Students will have the opportunity to work in a collaborative team environment while building their own brand. All of these skills are identified specifically by employers as not only valued but essential for success. Keith Schneider, entrepreneur and Square1 president, believes that inspiring students to be innovative and motivated changemakers is crucial to the future of our communities. “It is truly amazing to see what their students are capable of once the light comes on and they start working from a perspective of what is possible versus what is not,” explains Schneider.
The NEXT program concludes with a contest series where students compete in a Shark Tank-like pitch contest to advance to a regional contest, where over $600,000 in scholarships, cash prizes, and more are to be awarded. The 2023 NEXT Final Pitch event will be held at Thomas More University the evening of March 23.
“These scholarships and our partnership with Square1 will help student entrepreneurs matriculate into Thomas More University, getting them involved with the newly established Dr. Anthony ’65 & Geraldine ’66 Zembrodt Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation,” says University President, Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D. “Thomas More University is quickly becoming the innovation destination for young entrepreneurs looking for resources to develop their ideas in an academic environment.”
Square1, with locations in Covington and Cincinnati, seeks to uncover, educate, support, and inspire emerging entrepreneurs and leaders, who ultimately create opportunities for themselves and others by overcoming the many obstacles life poses. This mission is achieved through the NEXT program, which works with high school students to teach how innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset can change their life’s trajectory. Schools and students from across Greater Cincinnati participate in this region-wide innovation and work skills education and development program.
About Thomas More University
For 100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth, which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, , to build up the excellent ranking for ROI in Kentucky (#1 – 2021 MSN Money, #2 2022 Georgetown University study), and share with this generation the transformative power of the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visit thomasmore.edu.