The NRGRDA recently partnered with the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, and New River Community and Technical College to receive a Benedum Planning Grant to research implementing their Regional Entrepreneurial Awareness Program (REAP) on a regional level. To embed entrepreneurial education programs at the college level with New River Community and Technical College and expand a successful entrepreneurial mindset program implemented in Greenbrier County at the sixth grade level, the programming partners applied for, and were recently awarded a $25,000 REAP planning grant. This grant will involve the counties of Greenbrier, Nicholas, Summers, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Fayette and Monroe. The successful implementation of REAP would provide community college students with the tools to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors upon completion of coursework and help mentor students in the middle school programming. The middle school, “Mindset of Success” program developed by VisAbility, guides students through an eight week program using hands-on activities and “real world” experiences to think creatively, brain storm, problem solve and develop ideas They also learn about successful inventors and entrepreneurs including local community business leaders. Program partner in Greenbrier County is Community in the Schools. A teacher involved in the program stated that she “witnessed positive change and the development of higher order of complex thinking skills and creativity. The program empowered each student to see that they are important and can be great problem solvers.”
The complete program introduces key components at the community college and secondary level to develop the entrepreneurial mindset to encourage a cultural shift where creativity and innovation fuel economic growth in the region and help youth create their future in the state.