Oil City Student Wins eAcademy Demo Day Scholarship

The eAcademy program has just completed its first school year. The program was designed to give high school seniors the opportunity to explore and experience what life has to offer them before leaving high school. Students who participate in the program explore the community by attending field trips to businesses, listening to guest speakers, designing business plans, creating prototypes, and connecting with other students from seven different school districts around Venango County.

At the beginning of the year students learn about entrepreneurship and see how a variety of different businesses function. Towards the end of the school year students primary focus is on their own business start-up. On May 15, students participated in Demo Day to showcase their start-up’s. Students who participated in the event were Laney McNellie (Oil City High School), Kyleigh Schleifer (Cranberry High School), and Taylor Williams (Titusville High School).

For the event, students had to have a fully written business plan, five-minute pitch of their company, prototype, and answer questions from a panel of judges: Jessica Carroll (Franklin Retail Association), Amy Keth (Clarion Small Business Development Center), Laurie Knoll (Northwest Industrial Resource Center), and Susan Williams (Venango Area Chamber of Commerce).

Due to social distancing in place, the event took place using Zoom and Facebook Live. After review of the student start-ups, Laney McNellie of Oil City took home first place and the $1,000 scholarship. Here start-up business was Moments in Time, a wedding and event planning business.

Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is still open! Any interested senior is encouraged to apply. The eAcademy had an Open Classroom Day scheduled for the beginning of April for interested students in the program, but due to COVID-19 the trip has been postponed.

“We are hoping to still have the Open Classroom Day to allow students to experience what the program would be like if they joined. The day would also allow them to meet and connect with other students around the area,” said Taylor Snyder, eAcademy Instructor. Currently there has not been a make-up date scheduled for the Open Classroom Day; however, the program hopes to have the event towards the beginning of next school year.

To learn more about the eAcademy program please visit us on Facebook: or Email: .

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