When you think about career pathway programming for students, these aren’t generally the first words that come to mind. At the Hendricks Family Foundation, we know education is key to ensuring students have choices about their future, every child deserves access to experiential learning and robust career path planning. But how do you make it meaningful?BizTank’s approach is to add in high-energy fun to create a unique opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to grow their social network beyond their home school and throughout the business world while still in high school… and it’s a winning combination! Built on the belief that it’s unrealistic to expect students to know what they want to do with their lives without any real-world experience to support their decisions, BizTank’s goal is to cultivate confidence among students who may not know what they want to be when they grow up, study in college or if they even want to pursue higher education. BizTank aims to use this confidence to create a new generation of students who are willing to go above and beyond the classroom to try something new, step out of their comfort zone and take control of their future.
Located in Delavan, Wisconsin, BizTank brings together students from the Stateline area with local, national and international business leaders, who talk about the direction their lives have taken, their hard work, successes AND failures in a behind-the-scenes look into a variety of industries. Students are exposed to topics such as start-ups, return on investment, funding, opportunity recognition, on-trend marketing and social media in a way that doesn’t sugar-coat things. It’s honest, real-talk in a high-energy, high-tech, outside-of-the-classroom environment that allows students to participate in open forum discussions, entrepreneurial coaching, and field trips. Students create a unique podcast, Kids in the Tank, where they research a guest speaker, his or her business, ask thoughtful questions, record, edit and produce the episode.BizTank is also a scholarship program, providing an opportunity for students to earn a $500 scholarship for participation. To receive a scholarship, students must attend 7 out of 8 weekly sessions during a Fall, Winter or Spring season, with the potential stack multiple season scholarships.
Entry into the program requires a letter of recommendation. Students participating in more than one session must complete a job shadow and at least 2 hours of community service.
Scholarship funds must be used for technical school or college. Over the next three years, the BizTank scholarship fund anticipates awarding 225 students with a $500 scholarship. 150 students will also complete community service hours.
The Hendricks Family Foundation awarded a grant award of up to $75,000 to BizTank. Funds must be used to provide scholarships to Beloit-area students participating in BizTank activities. The award enables the Foundation to meet our objective of supporting quality education and career exploration for Beloit youth, paving the way for a strong foundation for their lives and our community.