Your Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is all about business! We love supporting not only local business, but anything that educates our youth about business and future employment opportunities right here in Venango County. That’s why for years we’ve supported Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). This award-winning program teaches students to understand and celebrate our American private enterprise system and provides a unique, hands-on learning experience that helps students develop the vital skills businesses need to succeed.
This summer, 63 students from Cranberry Area, Franklin Area, Oil City and Rocky Grove high schools, along with one home school student joined over 2,000 students from across the state to participate in the 40th annual PFEW summer program recently concluded in Williamsport.
At PFEW, students form management teams of approximately eighteen students and run their own manufacturing company, competing against other student companies. Throughout the week, world class speakers address the students on a wide variety of topics germane to the business world and their personal and professional development.
It is not only a powerful educational experience, it can be positively life-changing.
Here are several quotes from local students who attended this year’s program:
“My time at PFEW can be summarized in one word: growth. I do not know how different my life would be if I did not attend this camp. Thanks to your selfless sponsorship, that uncertain future has developed into a confident, hopeful one.” – David Ferraro, Franklin Area High School
“This experience was very beneficial to me. Though I am an honors student taking AP level courses, I cannot think of another experience to prepare me for the real world. It was here that I learned to have more faith in myself, and all that I can accomplish.” – Rachel Bell, Cranberry Area High School
“Without PFEW, I didn’t know what my purpose was, but after the first few days, I knew this week would change me. I am leaving PFEW with new found knowledge of the business world and all it has to offer. You are who got me here. You are why I changed this week. You have given me a purpose.” – Saige Slater, Cranberry Area High School
The program is taught entirely by volunteer practitioners from the PA business community, and each year, over 200 volunteers are needed to put on this world-class program.
Students attend via a $625 scholarship donated by a local business, foundation, civic organization or individual. This year, ten Venango County organizations provided scholarship support for their local students to attend.
To get involved as a donor or volunteer, or to discover more about PFEW, visit their website at www.pfew.org, or call Scott Lee at 814-833-9576.
This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s September 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.