By: Tara Lynch ‘18
The Entrepreneurship Club is one of Cheshire Academy’s newest clubs, led by Science Teacher Raymond Cirmo, Head of School John Nozell and Director of External Affairs Richard Ferraro. All of these men have extensive backgrounds in entrepreneurship, which provides a great opportunity for our students to learn something new and different. As a member of the club, I am able to learn new skills.
When asked what the main goals of the club are, Mr. Cirmo said, “To develop a community of people interested in entrepreneurship.” The club is an outlet for students to share their innovative ideas and possibly make them a reality. The club educates students on entrepreneurship skills, “and more importantly, the personal traits needed to be an entrepreneur.” Many skills are taught such as learning how to make a short elevator pitch and the steps to creating a product.
This is the first year for the club and was inspired by the idea to take what is learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. “For education to be effective, we need to give students the ability to take their knowledge, creativity and imagination and apply it to real situations.” Taking ideas to the next level is what this club is all about. Mr. Cirmo then went on to say, “What better way than to let students take an idea they are interested in and develop it into a viable product and business.”
Students were tasked at the beginning of the year to create an elevator pitch for a product they created. When asked about the projects students are working on he said, “On the table are a variety of ideas from automatic pet feeders to services that help select your clothes. Over the next few months, our entrepreneurs will pick several ideas and begin to focus their efforts to turn their dreams into reality.” Another project students are working on is the revamp of the school bookstore. New items are coming in daily that have been selected by this student team in partnership with the bookstore staff.
Students should have fun while learning and that is something the club looks for as an outcome from participating. Mr. Cirmo hopes that students, “realize that being an entrepreneur is more than just having fun. I also want them to realize that just because they might have the world’s greatest idea, it doesn’t mean that they will succeed. Being an entrepreneur means you are a person with a strong determination, you are willing to take risks. You are always learning, you are confident in yourself and what you are doing. You are passionate about your ideas, you have the ability to sell / promote yourself and your ideas and most importantly, you embrace failure as part of the process of becoming and remaining an entrepreneur.” Learning about yourself is something that the club leaders hope will happen over the course of the year.
Mr. Cirmo, Mr. Ferraro, and Mr. Nozell expect that, “we can bring our real life experiences, both success and failure, to the table to help our students become more successful.” This club is fun and educational at the same time. I am so fortunate to be a member and I am excited to continue working on our ongoing projects.