This post is republished with permission from Gilmour Academy. Gilmour Academy is a member of the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum. Eternally Yours was the 2015 Veale Business Plan Competition winner from Gilmour Academy. Gilmour has been a member of the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum since 2012.
Students today have an idea and think nothing of putting it in play, thanks to the efforts of Deanne Nowak, Ph.D., who has been spearheading the entrepreneurship program at Gilmour since 2008.
A group of four like-minded students began talking about starting a business that would pair the technical skills they’ve garnered through the AV Production course they took with the entrepreneurial skills they’ve developed through participation in the variety of entrepreneurship programs Nowak has run at the school. Charbel Najm, Da-Eun (Kathy) Jung, Sam Winslett, and Claire Werynski (pictured, left) decided to start a business that would produce commissioned digital stories including digital memoirs, ethical wills, athletic recruitment videos and commemorative works.
After writing a business plan, they began entering competitions such as the Believe in Ohio state-level competition, the Junior Achievement Company Program contest and the Lake Erie College business plan competition. They fared well, racking up prize money, ultimately winning $11,500, including the $10,000 top prize at the Believe in Ohio contest. Najm also received the Top Young Business Leader Award at the Junior Achievement outing. It was there, too, that the group picked up their first client. One of the judges asked them to create a video telling his father’s life story. They completed that project over the summer, along with a video commemorating the 20th anniversary of Gilmour’s Our Lady Chapel. They are working on videos about Gilmour’s newly launched Bishop Gilmour Institute and Gilmour’s long-standing collaboration with friends at Nuevo Paraiso, the destination for two annual mission trips. The students are currently talking with Junior Achievement about creating a video for the groups 75th anniversary.
Najm is the VP of marketing, Jung is the VP of procedures, Winslett serves as the company CEO and Werynski is the VP of video production. They have a paid staff of about ten students working as videographers and video editors.
All four of the company board members mentioned their gratitude to the faculty members at Gilmour, who have helped them navigate this process- from helping them select the most cost-effective equipment to providing technical advice to answering their questions as they wrote the business plan.
Najm said, “The mentorship at Gilmour Academy is just awesome. Doc Nowak is so great. Her door is always open for us.”