Beyond the Grind: Capstone Awards Prove Young Ideas Can Change the World

Beyond the Grind: Capstone Awards Prove Young Ideas Can Change the World

“I know this class can be a grind,” said Ed Glassman, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), to Capstone students gathered for the winter CEL Awards ceremony on January 11. “We were blown away by your ingenuity this year. It's your perseverance, your resourcefulness, and your creativity that we are here to celebrate today."

With their teachers as guides (and custom curriculum architects!), the young entrepreneurs in the Capstone course develop their apps, products, and other ventures in a relatively short time. This ceremony honors their hard work and recognizes students and groups for various achievements, from social impact to teamwork, with the highest honor being the Dr. Sands Entrepreneurial Mindset Award. 

The Sands Award recognizes “the student or student team that embodies all four entrepreneurial pillars: resiliency, opportunity seeking, resourcefulness, and creativity.” This semester, the award went to two projects: Ayudo, an app that pairs volunteers with nonprofits by Quinton McDonnell (pictured below, right, with teacher Scott Kirker), and Community Plate, a nonprofit that provides excess food to those in need by Judah Meyer (pictured below, left, with teacher Julie Knutson). 

Other projects included a toy puzzle ball by Chase Meyer and Chase Zimmer (New Media Studio Awards), a sign language app by Iris Dobeck and Maya Lawson (Innovation Studio Award), an effort to enhance hospital experiences through design by Ayana Banks (Infinity Prize for Resiliency), a podcast that “creates a safe, judgment-free space for students to express their feelings and struggles related to experiences based on their race” by Mmalita Echewa and Izzie Ford (Teamwork Award), among many other projects, which you can read more about here. (See photos from the ceremony here.)

Sands Award January 2023

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