Omaha career exploration program adds entrepreneurial track

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Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 12:00 am

For four decades, high school students in Omaha have had the opportunity to explore careers like law enforcement, law, ag and other skilled trades by visiting with people in the field.

Now, the Omaha Exploring program is adding a track for high schoolers interested in entrepreneurship.

"The Exploring program contributes to the healthy development of today’s young adults by providing them with career experiences they need to learn and grow," said organizer Tom Kutilek (right)

The program chooses about 25 students based on responses to a career interest survey given out by counselors to 16,000 students in Omaha Public Schools and District 66. Kutilek said they created the entrepreneurship track based on the increased interest on the surveys.

Sessions will be hands-on learning from several successful entrepreneurs, like Ryan Wade of Aviture, David Arnold of Straight Shot, Dusty Davidson of Flywheel, Dusty Reynolds of the Omaha Chamber and Kris Kluver of Social Media Contractors.

Wade will show off some robotics and simulators, Reynolds will speak about his job connecting entrepreneurs and Arnold will explain accelerators and venture capital firms. 

The Exploring program will meet six times throughout the spring semester on Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. 

Students will be able to draft a business plan and get feedback from the expert presenters.

"A lot of times, before you go to college you don't know what you want to do, so this 'job shadow' gives opportunities they usually wouldn’t have," Kutilek said. "When you go into business you get to see a live example of how it's done.

"It's also a way to get youth involved at a younger age and plant a seed in their heads earlier that they can start their own startups themselves."

Interested high schoolers can register online at www.omahaexploring.org. For questions, please call Tom Kutilek at 402-514-3008. The program cost high schoolers $30, but scholarships are available.

Among Exploring's other programs are architecture, construction, medical, business, photography and more.

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