A few summers ago, Shawn Gindea noticed that finding a summer job for high school students was a challenge given that few students have substantive experience and some may be inhibited by lack of connections or even easy transportation to the job.
A few summers ago, Shawn Gindea ’22, noticed that finding a summer job for high school students was a challenge given that few students have substantive experience and some may be inhibited by lack of connections or even easy transportation to the job. An aspiring entrepreneur who was drawn to Springside Chestnut Hill’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) program, Shawn decided to create a product to help fill the void. Earlier this week, Shawn earned second place and a prize of $1,500 in the Rising Starters Pitch Competition for his venture, Janus Jobs. The competition is a high school entrepreneurship pitch challenge hosted by Drexel University's Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.
SCH’s nearly 10-year old Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) is committed to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset in every K-12 student. The program prioritizes the development of four key traits that characterize the entrepreneurial mindset: opportunity seeking, creative problem solving, resiliency, and resourcefulness. Project-based challenges in the classroom enable students to build this way of thinking while practicing entrepreneurial skills in the areas of business, design, and technology. As students progress through the curriculum, they take on interesting challenges rooted in their passions and graduate with the ability to implement their ideas.
CEL Executive Director Edward Glassman explains, “Our students are working out in the “real world” launching their ideas for businesses, non-profit organizations, apps, inventions, and environmental initiatives in truly impactful ways.” Beyond the curriculum, the CEL Venture Incubator extracurricular program allows students to progress through the stages of brainstorming a rough concept to authentic outcome with the help of a mentor and culminates with a presentation to a friendly panel of investors and entrepreneurs. Some students, like Shawn, progress to the Venture Accelerator program, which allows for full implementation of the project.
Dr. Roger Lee, Assistant Director of Pre-College Engagement and Adjunct Professor at Drexel, hosts the annual competition and has enjoyed the partnership with CEL for several years. " I’ve had the pleasure of judging (Drexel’s) their competitions, serving as a guest speaker and guest instructor for their classes, and coaching their students who compete in the Rising Starters High School Pitch Competition. The work the CEL does is so important. It prepares today's youth to become tomorrow's entrepreneurial leaders. Entrepreneurship education empowers all students by giving them the mindset, skills, and experience they need to launch their own careers and ventures. I love what the CEL is doing for its students and community!"
The name of Shawn's award-winning venture—www.janusjobs.org—comes from the Greek God Janus, who is the god of pathways, doors, and transitions. He explains, "I found Janus to represent my website extremely well, as teenagers are looking for a transition into adulthood and looking into the door of their future.”
Shawn welcomes businesses offering job opportunities with an easy form right on his site— “Post Your Job Here!” His novel approach to making the quest for summer employment easier and more fruitful is bound to be popular among students and their parents as well as those with staffing needs.
Nina Jaeger is a member of the SCH communications department.