Student entrepreneurs raise a record amount for charity

Thanks to Grove City College’s innovative approach to Entrepreneurship education – which is recognized as a national model for other programs – eight local charities have an additional $4,878 this year to advance their good works.

The donations – which set a record for the class – represent the profits from businesses created by students in the eCommerce course taught by Yvonne J. English ’97, assistant professor and executive director of the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation. Students learn about the essential components of a successful online enterprise, in part, through working in teams to design and operate their own
e-commerce businesses during the semester.

“Not surprisingly, COVID-19 changed the way that we did everything in this class. The students learned exactly what challenges businesses are currently facing as they personally experienced supply chain breakdowns, the need to add safety protocols, and having to prepare contingency plans,” English said. “I was shocked when we totaled the donations and found that this class had the largest donation total in the history of this class - during a pandemic! I’m proud of the incredible grit that our students showed and of the good work that they accomplished for our community,” English said.

Students created companies that made and marketed a variety of products and enjoyed varied levels of success. Proceeds of the effort were distributed this week to:

  • Light of Life Rescue Mission, Pittsburgh, $1,370.54 from Imago; Olivia Whiteman ’23, Stu Rozendal ’21, and Jake Botkin ‘23. Imago’s total set a new team record for the eCommerce class and helps the Rescue Mission, which serves those with homelessness, poverty and addiction issues, meet a great need during this pandemic.
  • The Arc of Mercer County, $707.50 from KnotHangin’; Bailey Mantzell ’22, Jansen Dudt ’23, Amanda Mayer ’22, and Dan Colflesh ‘21.
  • Reaching Up and Reaching Out, Mercer, Pa., $699.31 from Free Indeed Jewelry Co., Jael Compton ’22, Ellianna Fry ’23, Jonathan Skee ’21, and AJ Bernsdorff ’23.
  • UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, $678.10 from Bands of Truth; Zach Allen ’23, Nathan Martin ’22, and Tara Peterson ’22.
  • The Miracle League of the South Hills, $581.79 from Phileo Heat; Laura Mosley ‘22, Grant Baierl ’23, and Hannah Sedam ’21.
  • Grove City Area Meals on Wheels, $424.08 from Yerba Box; Benjamin Salaj ’22, Dillon Werstiuk ’23, Fisher Koons ’22, and Andrew Jordan ’23.
  • The Genius Corps, Pittsburgh, $311.89 from Tech Jewels; Thomas Kenny ‘23, Hannah Hammersley ‘21, Alec Wichman ‘23, and Johnny Youland ’22.
  • An autism resource center in Zelienople, Pa., $105.50 from Artem Totes; Caterina Nicoletti ’23, Avalon Parsons ’23, and Ethan Raynaud ’22.

This year’s businesses raised 7 percent more than last year’s class.

Typically, E+I holds an in-person event at Homecoming to help students promote their businesses to an audience of students, alumni, and friends of the College. With that tent pole event cancelled this year due to the pandemic, E+I moved online with Venture Village – an e-commerce venture launch event for the class – to drive sales and interest in the student businesses.

Grove City College’s Entrepreneurship program, which includes an academic program and the Center for E+I, which serves students of all majors, is recognized as a national model for other colleges and universities by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). For more, visit gccentrepreneurship.com.

Student entrepreneurs raise a record amount for charity

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