Samantha Dewalt, Lehigh@Nasdaq Center
Passionate about solving social inequality and making an impact in the lives of underserved youth? This project strives to position entrepreneurship education as a mobilizer for social equality. We will strive to level the playing field by understanding the barriers marginalized youth face with limited access to quality education, workforce skills, and meaningful employment. These challenges perpetuate cycles of disadvantage and inequality, leaving young individuals with unfulfilled potential. This is particularly true for students from low-income backgrounds living in high-poverty areas. As a global hub for entrepreneurship and innovation, Silicon Valley provides a unique setting to study and pilot innovative ways of using entrepreneurship training to help underserved youth realize their full potential. In year one, the project team will conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify the challenges and understand current solutions that aim to solve the education and workforce gaps for underserved youth. We will conduct customer interviews with various stakeholders in Silicon Valley to gather insights, identify needs, and design possible programs for vocational entrepreneurship training. We welcome students from all majors to participate in this venture, but we are particularly seeking students who have an interest in fostering critical skills and developing an entrepreneurial mindset in others.