Partnering with young entrepreneurs from Johnson and Wales University, students from The MET High School are learning what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur in today’s world.
In May, the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, colloquially known as “The MET School” opened the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This building and its courses are aimed at teaching the underserved youth of Providence how to start their own businesses. In that process, all of the necessary skills, from financial literacy, to marketing, to professional development are fostered. The program, run by Jodie Woodruff, longtime the MET, principal and now director, is the first standalone entrepreneurship center for high schoolers in the country, and the program focuses on real world applications of entrepreneurial concepts.
Recently, the E-Center at The MET has partnered with Johnson and Wales University to provide support and mentoring for the young entrepreneurs in the program. They also, have contributed enormous financial support in the form of a scholarship for one student from The MET’s E-Center programs. “We’re really excited to have partnered with Johnson and Wales, who have helped by engaging our students in real world opportunities with college level entrepreneurs,” says Woodruff.
The partnership was formed early on when John Robitaille, the Executive in Residence at the Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship, made a visit to the E-Center at the MET and was impressed with the program and its students. “I was extremely impressed with both the E360 program and the new entrepreneurship center at the Met School,” Robitaille says, “The experiential component of the academic program mirrors a college level course and the layout of the center itself is very supportive of collaborative activities and innovation.”
Originally pledging $20,000 over the course of four years to an entrepreneurial scholarship for Rebecca Sheeler, a student at The MET, Robitaille began to think of all of the ways that JWU and the MET could work together. For the betterment of both the students at the MET and the young entrepreneurs at JWU, the partnership has already spawned a mentoring program, and we expect to see a lot more from this budding friendship.
For more information about the MET’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, visit their website at www.metcenter.org, and for more information about the Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship at Johnson and Wales University, visit their website at www.jwu.edu