This past summer, Osakis secondary student, Xavier Pahl, received a sponsorship to participate in a week-long summer business, career, and financial literacy camp, Minnesota Business Venture.

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education provided the sponsorship for the student to attend the program.

The program is developed and organized by BestPrep, a Minnesota nonprofit dedicated to preparing students to be college-prepared, work-ready, and career-bound. More than 350 high school students from 100 schools attended and were selected to receive scholarships to participate at one of two MBV sessions at University of St. Thomas or St. John’s University during the month of July.

At MBV, small groups of students called “companies” spent the week developing an imaginary product or service. The students created a business plan and presented to a panel of professionals with the hopes of gaining a loan approval. While the proposals were theoretical, the ideas presented were meant to be a realistic representation of how companies run their businesses.

A few product ideas this year included an automatic reflective shield for cars to block out sun and heat, and an intelligent chip that transforms insulin pumps into a smarter artificial pancreas, and a solar-powered and chargeable phone case. Students in each company were mentored and guided throughout the week by professionals from local companies.