A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

SQUARE1 to honor Garren Colvin, Barbara Smith as part of High School Startup Pitch on April 3

SQUARE1 will honor two community leaders and entrepreneurs at its 3rd Annual Startup Scholars event on April 3. Garren Colvin of St. Elizabeth Healthcare will receive the Community Impact award and Journey Steel owner Barb Smith will be given the Entrepreneur Leadership Award.

Garren Colvin

Garren Colvin graduated from Ludlow High School (a participating school) and proceeded to Thomas More to earn his Bachelor and Masters’ Degrees from NKU, both in Business Administration. Garren took the helm at St. Elizabeth in 2015 after leading the organization to a stellar financial record and providing expertise through several key consolidations and mergers in previous roles.

Colvin is also a leader in the community serving on several boards including the American Heart Association and United Way of Greater Cincinnati as well as being a founding member of the Kentucky Health Collaborative. His community involvement, innovative spirit, and leadership serve as a great example to the next generation of leaders being guided by SQUARE1.

Barbara Smith is the President and Majority Owner of Journey Steel, Inc. founded in 2009. She is an alumnus of Eastern Michigan University. Barb has 18 years of architectural and engineering experience specifically as a Senior Estimator before starting Journey Steel in 2009.

Smith also co-founded her own non-profit known as Journeys Soaring Impact, a non-profit aiming to provide inner-city high-school seniors hands-on training in the field of ironworking. Most recently, Barb was invited to the White House and participated in a roundtable discussion with President Trump and Vice-President Pence to discuss regulations and their effect on small, minority and women-owned businesses. SQUARE1 is honoring Barb with the Entrepreneur Leadership award as she is a great role model as a business founder and advocate for the students SQUARE1 supports.

Barbara Smith

SQUARE1 welcomes the community in celebrating these and other community leaders at our April 3rd event. Tickets and additional info can be found at this website.

Preceding this final event is the semi-final on March 12th hosted by Gateway Community and Technical College at their Center for Technology Innovation and Enterprise. The semi-final will include hundreds of students representing roughly 30 tristate schools from Boone County to Butler County. SQUARE1 is seeking judges to assist in selecting the teams that will advance to the final. They are also seeking donations of any type to utilize as awards and prizes at this event.

The Startup Scholars program not only prepares these students for the pitch contest, but it also teaches them valuable work skills. Therefore, SQUARE1 will continue to work with the student to identify jobs and internships that will advance them along their career path.

“These students are so talented, yet they have very low skill jobs,” explains SQUARE1 President Keith Schneider. “These jobs are great for building a work ethic and providing some income however, based on what we see in the classroom these kids are underemployed.” SQUARE1 is currently seeking employers and partners to create work opportunities for our innovators. This can be an entry-level job, apprenticeship, internship or simply an experience such as a field trip or job shadow.

If you are interested in supporting SQUARE1 and these students with prizes or work opportunities please reach out to keith@startatsquare1.com.

SQUARE1, a not-for-profit, is an entrepreneur education and business igniter providing resources to a broad range of professionals and students to help turn ideas and interests into thriving businesses and careers. Our mission is to uncover, educate, support, and inspire emerging entrepreneurs.

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