The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute awarded the inaugural Community Impact Award to American Fork High School teacher Calvin Barnum. This annual award is sponsored by the Entrepreneur Association and was awarded for the first time at the 2023 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HSUEC).
Barnum teaches marketing and entrepreneurship and is the DECA advisor at American Fork High School. He created the Utah Teen Entrepreneur Expo, a biannual event that gives teen entrepreneurs the opportunity to run a business in person. He actively supports youth entrepreneurship and encouraged over 30 teams to apply to compete in this year’s HSUEC.
“Making a difference, proposing new solutions, stepping off of the path, throwing out the rule book — that’s entrepreneurship and having an entrepreneurial mindset to me. Inviting teenagers to have a solution-based approach to their experiences and lenses is invigorating,” Barnum said. “I love my job, and I love inviting students to be excited by a blank page, instead of being scared by it. I have always aligned with the Lassonde approach to supporting the learner’s journey, to encourage and support action over memorization. I am flattered, honored, and touched to be the first recipient of this award and part of the tribe supporting today’s young people.”
The Entrepreneur Association provides support to entrepreneurship, with a focus on youth. They sponsored this award to celebrate and encourage those in the community who are uplifting youth entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship education and to recognize their impact.
“These educators and community members serve hundreds of youth entrepreneurs, and there’s no real place where they’re recognized for their work,” said Eric Child, a representative from the Entrepreneur Association. “We’re excited to be able to give them the accolades they deserve.”
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute invites everyone to help support aspiring entrepreneurs by getting involved in the Lassonde community. Community involvement supports student growth and helps make HSUEC and similar programs thrive and supports student growth.
“Teachers and mentors make such a big impact on a student’s ability to succeed and the strength of our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Anne Bastien, program director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “We hope this award inspires the community to continue that support.”
HSUEC is a competition designed to introduce and encourage high school students to explore innovation and entrepreneurship. Winners take home cash and scholarships. HSUEC is the high school version of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, one of the largest collegiate entrepreneurship competitions in the country. All high school students (or those ages 14-18 years old) throughout Utah may participate. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and Entrepreneur Association invite everyone to join them in supporting aspiring entrepreneurs.
Learn more about ways to get involved in the Lassonde community at https://lassonde.utah.edu/community.