Cougar Enterprises Club Follows its Mission

This year, Collegiate School's Middle School Cougar Enterprises club, spent time thinking about its mission through word play exercises and writing challenges ultimately drafting, voting on and declaring the club mission "Create. Inspire. That's what we Do."

The mission has been a constant thread throughout club meetings marked by the planning of an upcycle market for the spring, creative thinking exercises drawing inspiration from the story of Caine's Arcade and through a speaker series that discussed a range of topics with the students:
John O'Neill, Partner at Hunton & Williams and Chairman of the Board at Collegiate, addressed the importance of giving back to the community.
Kevin McGeorge, 2003 Collegiate graduate and manager of the family-owned business, McGeorge RV, shared his experience going into family business and having a passion for what you do.
John Dau, Collegiate Global Scholar-in-Residence, social entrepreneur and founder of the John Dau Foundation, presented on operating a nonprofit and international fundraising.
Rob Ukrop, 1998 Collegiate graduate, Richmond Kickers President of the Board of Directors and coach of Kickers U-16 Girls Elite team, shared his experience of not going into the family business and following his own dream.
Courtney Johnson, Customer Service Representative for Amazon, discussed Amazon's customer-centric focus, company policies and the logistics of operating a global shipping company.
Juiliette Skyes, owner of Liberty Tax, discussed financial reporting, tax filing, W-2  and 1099 forms, as well how to save 15% of revenue for paying taxes.
Alex Smith, former Vice President of Development at Collegiate School, shared his experience of working in fundraising, as well as how to secure a patent as an entrepreneur.
Most recently, club members watched entrepreneurs in action and all that it takes to make at Build, RVA, a product accelerator and maker workshop in Scott’s Addition designed to foster entrepreneurial innovation. Build, RVA's mission is "to provide a place wherein members can gather to better understand and apply science, art and creativity in their everyday builds. Whether a member is making products to sell from their business in Richmond, or just creating something for the fun of creation, Build wants to help amplify the community’s ability to do so." 
Build, RVA member Jonathan Frey, a scientist, engineer, and inventor with more than 15 patents, took students on a one-hour tour showing examples of projects and products and talking about how to think out of the box as well as the art of being innovative. Half of Build, RVA membership is entrepreneurs, and students heard from some of them about their ongoing projects including etched glass bottles, stars and coasters made from bottlecaps, and chocolate molds.