A Kauai college student in Massachusetts received recognition for creating a promising mentor program.
Kilauea’s Alana Mann earned honorable mention during the fifth annual Social Venture Challenge, a competition designed by Gordon College to inspire students to start something for good.
Every spring, its Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership sponsors this campuswide challenge for student teams preparing to launch their own nonprofit or business ventures. The winning teams pitch in front of experienced industry experts and split $10,000 in seed money to get started.
“The competition was originally created to give students at Gordon College a chance to put their business skills to practice experientially,” said Iela Ziegenhals, a representative from the Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership at the college located north of Boston.
The 14 finalists represented eight different academic majors. Mann from Kilauea is a member of “Ticket of Tomorrow,” one of the five final teams selected.
“Alana’s team was selected because we felt like they had a sustainable solution to a real problem,” Ziegenhals said. “They had conducted strong market research, taken large strides in their nonprofit and are serious about continuing it after the competition.”
Ticket of Tomorrow created a mentoring program facilitating relationships between college students and socio-economically underprivileged youth through marque sporting events and concerts.
“They have even began running the mentor program and are excited about the progress,” Ziegenhals said.
The student team consisted of Mann (‘19), Luke Glenn (‘20), Deborah Sullivan (‘19) and Yabisi Wen (‘21).
“The competition was strong this year, and Alana’s team did an impressive job,” said Stephanie Antonucci, program manager at the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
The Social Venture Challenge asks participants where their greatest passions meet the world’s deepest needs and how they can go about finding solutions.
“It addresses creative problem solving and encourages out-of-the-box thinking,” Ziegenhals added.
The event drew its largest audience ever, with more than 300 guests cheering on the teams.
Prizes were awarded to the three finalists at the Final Showcase on April 19. The first-place team won $5,000, the second and third place teams won $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.
“Every year, we are amazed at the passion and creativity of our finalists,” said Crockett. “They aim to be the change agents of tomorrow, and we are honored to be part of their launch.”
John Steinhorst, reporter, can be reached at 245-0435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.