Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC), partnering with New River Community and Technical College and New River Gorge Regional Development Authority recently received a Benedum Foundation Planning Grant to research implementing their Regional Entrepreneurial Awareness Program (REAP) to embed entrepreneurial education programs at the college level with New River Community and Technical College and expand a successful entrepreneurial mindset program implemented in Greenbrier County at the sixth grade level. The $25,000 REAP planning grant is to involve the counties of Greenbrier, Nicholas, Summers, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Fayette and Monroe.
The successful implementation of REAP would provide community college students with the tools to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors upon completion of coursework and help mentor students in the middle school programming. The middle school, “Mindset of Success” program developed by VisAbility guides students through an eight week program using hands-on activities and “real world” experiences to think creatively, brain storm, goal set, problem solve and develop ideas. The students also learn about successful inventors and entrepreneurs including local community business leaders. In Greenbrier County, Community in the Schools is the program partner and The Peyton Foundation and First Energy are sponsors. A teacher involved in the program stated that she “witnessed positive change and the development of higher order thinking skills and creativity. The program empowered each student to see that they are important and can be great problem solvers.”
The complete program introduces key components at the community college and secondary level to develop the entrepreneurial mindset to encourage a cultural shift where creativity and innovation fuel economic growth in the region and help youth create their future in the state.