SOUTH BEND — Inside The Armory Thursday afternoon, Saint Joseph High School senior Kira Pratico was busy directing a flurry of activity.
As the CEO of the City on the Rise program, an event put on by 34 students from eight different high schools, Pratico and others were making sure everything was in its place for the evening event.
Pratico and the others are all members of Startup Moxie, a program to foster entrepreneurship and business acumen in high school seniors (and one junior). The program began three years ago, as St. Joe CEO, and was recently renamed Startup Moxie.
Meeting at a different business each morning, the students learn what it takes to start a business. But the learning doesn’t stop after they’ve heard from more than 40 different business owners. The students each have to create their own personal business as well, with help from local mentors. Now near the end of the year, the Startup Moxie students are putting on an event that celebrates the recent economic growth in the South Bend-Elkhart region.
On one wall inside The Armory, a pair of green boxes stood against the wall. With six keypads on the front, the boxes were one example of a business idea brought to life by the students.