Perhaps the Greatest Benefit of a K-12 Entrepreneurship Program, And I Didn’t Even Realize It…” | Stephen Carter | 2 Min Read

May 27, 2024

Emma is now twenty-eight years—a thriving adult navigating all the major decisions that the late 20’s bring: fostering a meaningful relationship, purchasing a home, starting to save for
retirement, and planning for a family.

But Emma is approaching these decisions with a different framework than most adults her age. Emma is approaching these decisions from an entrepreneurial mindset.

This spring marks the 10th year anniversary of the entrepreneurship program at Cincinnati Hills
Christian Academy—and yes, it’s crazy to think it has already been ten years. Back in 2014, we
started our program with three rolling wooden carts topped with coffee equipment and now we
have six businesses on campus, fourteen elective courses, a certificate track, and six full-time
faculty members.

And to think it all started with coffee. Looking back, the journey has been incredible, and the
learnings are even better. And if you asked me, throughout the process, for my take on the
biggest benefit students in the program were getting, my answers would have varied but would
most certainly have centered on the obvious: students were getting practical skills for real-world
success, they were developing the skills of collaboration and effective communication, they were
embracing a growth mindset and developing grit, and they were redefining failure and becoming
opportunity seeking.

And all of that is true. What I didn’t realize, however, was the long-lasting impact and change
that the development of the entrepreneurial mindset was causing in the students. I woke up to
this reality a few weeks ago after watching an emotionally charged video.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, I hired our brand new on-campus business featuring video
production to make a special video detailing the history of our Leaning Eagle Coffee Bar—the
flagship business that started the whole program. To do this, they began interviewing some of the
original students who now are in their late 20’s.

The resulting footage was exciting. One of the first students they interviewed was in fact Emma
who, as a rising high school senior the year the program was launched, was named overall
manager of the coffee bar (a student CEO role). She took this opportunity to grow and develop
throughout the year as she led a team of her peers. And now here she was, ten years later, sitting
directly in front of the business she helped launch and explaining the true impact it had on her

You may also be interested in reading more articles written by Stephen Carter for Intrepid Ed News.

Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy where he has taught for 18 years. His most recent book, Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset, chronicles the ten-year journey of developing the entrepreneurship and sustainability program and his own experience in learning to think like an entrepreneur. He is the founder of Seed Tree Group ( where he helps K-12 schools build impactful entrepreneurship programming. He can be reached at [email protected].

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