High School Entrepreneurs Participate in Completion Ceremony


A new entrepreneurial workshop program for high school students at Frederick Community College will wrap up with Completion Ceremony on Saturday, April 8 when students will present their business plans, hear from local business leader Darrick Bowens, and receive completion certificates.

The session will be the last of the five-session Rising Entrepreneurs Workshop, sponsored by FCC Youth Programs and funded by the FCC Foundation. 

The workshop participants are high school students of color in their junior or senior year at Frederick and Thomas Johnson high schools. The students were recommended by their principal for their entrepreneurial interests.

“Each of these students want to be a business owner one day and this is a fantastic way to get insight on what that might take,” said Elizabeth Duffy, FCC Director of Open Campus and Dual Enrollment. “The students all have different goals – one wants to start a bakery, another is in interested in an automotive career, and another student currently sells African jewelry– but they are all motivated and thinking about how to make it happen.”

During the sessions, the students develop a practical understanding of the tools and resources needed to launch a business. Each session is led by a local business leader who shares professional experiences and answers questions on a variety of business-related topics including obtaining business loans, leadership development, meeting local business leaders, networking opportunities, resume building, business plan exploration, and more.

The whole group was impressed with the commitment and dedication the students showed throughout the program, according to Sherman Coleman, Business Development Specialist, Minority Business Outreach, for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, who was instrumental in creating the program and has served as an advisor to the students each week.

“These students came to class each week energetic, enthusiastic, and really ready to explore that next step for how to get where they want to be,” Coleman said. “They will be able to walk away from this experience with lessons and knowledge they can use 10 or 15 years down the road.” 

The last session on April 8 will run from 10 a.m. to noon in the Student Center (Room H111). The workshop will begin with each student presenting their business plan that has been developed over the course of the program. They will then hear from Darrick Bowens, Franchise Owner of Colbert/Ball Tax Service. Students will also be presented with their completion certificates.

In addition to Darrick Bowens, other speakers have included:

James Dugue – Service Specialist, Family Partnership
David Esworthy – Market President, First United Bank & Trust
Jason Lee – CEO, Lee Building Maintenance
Jamaal Rashad – ValorLives Business Solutions
Sharon Riser – Director/Owner, The TEMPLE: A Paul Mitchell Partner School

This program was developed in partnership with the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County, Frederick County Public Schools, and The KENT Group.