Pandemic or not, this force is real and unstoppable(aka “CAC winners”)
The Congressional Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, also known as the House App Contest or Congressional App Challenge, allows middle and high school students in participating congressional districts to compete in an annual application software (“app”) development contest.
ACF was honored to get invited and present our mission and programs to these amazing winners this year during their STEM impact fair (#house of code). Even though the in person celebration gathering is now converted to virtual event, the atmosphere was still full of enthusiasm and anticipation; anticipation of “what’s next?” since we have won this prestigious competition.
And that’s why ACF thinks we got so many signups for our 4 sessions mostly from 11th and 12th graders who won this year from 50 states. With the pandemic, so many virtual events, especially new teen entrepreneurship competitions are popping up around the globe and existing ones are thriving. And this trend seems bolstered by the conversion from in person to virtual learning environment and teens’ insatiable curiosity and savvy technology use.
While the teen entrepreneurship competitions are the cornerstone of young innovative idea celebration, one thing seems to be overlooked. And it was very crystal clear during our 4 sessions with these incredible CAC winners. In essence, they were all super excited and anxious to move on to next step from this successful first step of winning CAC first time in their lives. But not many paths are clearly defined or available to help them continue their entrepreneurship and STEM journey. Their most common question was “how can I pursue my interest in this path with my current or next project if possible instead of ending here?”.
And that’s why ACF is particularly delighted to answer for their “good” dilemma. ACF’s teen startup program was launched precisely to tackle this lack of long term teen entrepreneurship enrichment program like any other serious long term extracurricular activities namely, sports, musical instruments training which don’t stop after one competition.
And our answer to these ambitious and young entrepreneurs is simple; work on it everyday with clear goals and roadmap with supporting ACF mentoring system. That’s why ACF launched a year long startup team eco system with tech and business mentors to help teen entrepreneurs systematically and effectively over a long period of duration. Essentially, we aim to offer our teen startup program as an alternative for any aspiring teen entrepreneurs to horn their technical(building the tech project) and non technical(leadership, teamwork, outreach) skills with ongoing process without stop and getting lost.