Student entrepreneurs get scholarships, mentors


Photo courtesy of Stephanie Goldenberg

Academic chair of the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute Stephanie Goldenberg (right) and instructional specialist Stephen Berry oversee the Ratcliffe Entrepreneurship Scholarship.

Zack Buster, Editor-in-Chief

Student entrepreneurs could win $12,000 scholarships this year as part of a $300,000 donation from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation.

Stephanie Goldenberg, the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute’s academic chair, said the scholarship gives students an opportunity to focus on building their businesses without having to work another job for tuition money.

“Students often say that having that is a relief to them,” Goldenberg said, “so that they don’t have to think about [paying] for school … while they’re trying to start their business.”

The Ratcliffe Foundation has given AACC millions of dollars since 2003 to promote local small businesses and help start more. The foundation has made a commitment of $900,000 to the college over the next three years. 

Goldenberg said in addition to the scholarship, winners get access to career coaches and mentors who help guide them through their academic and business journey. 

School of Business and Law instructional specialist Stephen Berry said this coaching will help the students “find clarity” about their ideas and how they will approach making them a reality.

Third-year psychology major Jacob Rosenblatt, who won the scholarship in the summer, agreed.

“The mentorship is great,” Rosenblatt said. “I love the fact that we get to work in cohorts and be able to bounce ideas off of each other.”

Rosenblatt said he is impressed with the opportunities available to him along with the scholarship.

“I was really wowed coming into this program with how many resources and tools [are] at my disposal to help me further my business,” Rosenblatt said.

Rosenblatt, who said he intends to start his own counseling business, credits the scholarship with much of his progress.

“I’d like to think that part of what I’m doing is new and innovative,” Rosenblatt said. “And I really wouldn’t be in this position to do any of that if it were not for the Radcliffe scholarship. So I really owe it for my current and future success.”

First-year communications student Jerryt Haley, who also won the scholarship this summer, said he is “honored.”

Haley said the $12,000 allows him to use his own money for other expenses and improve his business of reselling clothes. 

“I have my own apartment and everything so it … really helps with expenses, of course,” Haley said. It’s great “not having to worry about working as much because I can use that money … to help with bills and focus more on my business.”