High school juniors and seniors who wish to explore the world of business and entrepreneurship while earning college credit will be able to do just that by enrolling in a summer camp at Texas A&M International University.
The "1998 Youth Entrepreneurship Summer Camp," organized by the Department of Economics and Finance in the College of Business Administration and co-sponsored by local businesses and organizations, is designed to give students a fun opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial talents. The co-sponsors include Junior Achievement, the Laredo Development Foundation, Laredo Manufacturers Association, Norwest Bank and South Texas State Bank. Junior Achievement has contributed the education materials and the other organizations have made contributions to cover tuition, fees, books and materials.
By participating in the program, students will also increase their understanding of the role that free enterprise and enterprise development play in achieving economic growth, community renewal, and individual success, organizers said.
"Those who become part of the program will have the opportunity to identify business opportunities and conduct market surveys to determine if people are willing to buy their products," said Dr. Michael Patrick, chair of the department of economics and finance at A&M International, "If you like challenges and financial rewards, are creative, hardworking and willing to take a chance, then this is the program for you."
Classes will meet daily for two hours for a total of 45 hours from June 8 to July 7. Students will also participate in out-of-class projects and field trips. Participants will learn first-hand the process of establishing and operating a business. They will also identify a business opportunity, develop a business plan, manufacture and market a product or provide a service.
The cost of enrolling in the program is $285 for 45 hours and three university credit hours. The cost includes tuition, books and materials.
Scholarships covering up to 90 percent of program costs (including tuition, books and materials) are available.
Topics to be covered include introduction to economics, America's economic system and the global economy, enterprise in action, money and banking and launching a business.
Students will also learn about defining an entrepreneur, characteristics of the successful entrepreneur, the rewards and challenges of entrepreneurship, the importance of entrepreneurship and its role in the American Economy, supply and demand forces and other interesting aspects of business.
"We are grateful for the community support the program has received. In particular, I would like to thank Norwest Bank. In addition to funding last year's successful pilot project, Norwest has provided encouragement and assistance in our efforts to secure broader community support for the program," Dr. Patrick said.
John Adams, president of the Laredo Manufacturers Association, said that the program gives students an introduction to some of the key aspects one has to keep in mind before opening a business.
"That is planning, company strategy, how to finance the business and how to get organized. This class will also help students get over the initial fear that they have in opening a business and will take a look at your plans," Adams said.
Students who will participate in the program from Alexander High School include Gabriela Chapa, Paula Flores, Valarie Urbano, Linda Valdez and Gabriela Villalba. Students from Cigarroa High School will include Ziomara Garza, Erika Gonzalez, Maria Luisa Nuñez, Vanessa Treviño, Brenda Trujillo and Ana Maria Sanchez. Martin High School students will be Raul Castillo and Albert Martin. Nixon High School students participating include Daniel Levant, Melissa Lopez, Diana Reyes and Connie Tobias. Students from United High School will be Jessica Arcos, Billy Elizondo, Leslie Marie Gibson and Veronica Guzman.
For further information, please contact Dr. Michael Patrick at 326-2490. University office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.