Gateway Regional High School in Woodbury recently became the first high school in New Jersey designated as part of the EntreEd’s America’s Entrepreneurial School Initiative, due in part to collaborative efforts with Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center.
Gateway received this national recognition due to its “commitment to providing entrepreneurship education to every student in their building” according to EntreEd, a national consortium for entrepreneurial education.
According to Melissa Eckstein, District Career Facilitator at Gateway, the relationship fostered between Gateway Regional High School and Mid Atlantic States Career Education Center has been a fruitful one for the future workforce.
Recognition by EntreEd demonstrates the success of this partnership.
“We formed a relationship with Mid Atlantic about three years ago and since then, that partnership very quickly propelled us into being a recognized pioneer in the field of entrepreneurship education,” Ms. Eckstein said. “Through Mid-Atlantic States Career Education Center funding, we have been afforded the opportunity to educate our entrepreneur students on food safety, food handling and food processing. We have formed a partnership with Rutgers Food Innovation Center and have been recognized by the New Jersey Department of Labor for that effort. Our students have visited Cornell University and have toured the dairy robotics farms to learn the innovative ways farms are employing for better productivity.”
Mr. Ben Wood, Senior VP, Planning and Development for Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center, said the Center recognized that in the age of entrepreneurship there were no options for students to develop that spirit and knowledge base to become entrepreneurs and learn about the requirements to be a successful entrepreneur. Gateway High School Immediately became partners with Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center to assist in developing a model that other schools can implement.
“The students have embraced the program and have become stars; many have now chosen a business field,” Mr. Wood said. “It has unleashed an unprecedented wave of enthusiasm with students, teachers, and guidance personnel. Young people struggling in school now enthusiastically explore new options and recognize the value of their high school education.”
Ms. Eckstein said with continued support from Mid-Atlantic States Career Education Center, students at Gateway Regional High School can continue to grow their career paths in entrepreneurship, food production and culinary.
“We look to expand our project-based projects in entrepreneurship and our field trip opportunities to expose students that otherwise would not know these lucrative and necessary careers exist,” she said.
Gateway Regional High School is an economically disadvantaged 7-12 comprehensive public school in Gloucester County, serving Woodbury Heights, Westville, National Park and Wenonah.
“The students have used what they have learned to become entrepreneurs in their everyday life,” Mr. Wood said. “None of us saw this coming, that the school experience would be transformed for all involved.”