Minarets High School junior Matt Koen, 17, will jet off to Dobbs Ferry, New York this summer after sailing through an interview with Mercy College in New York and being selected to be part of their Future Business Leaders Academy in June.
For four days Koen will attend seminars from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. where he will hear about everything from "Life as a CEO" to "Creating a Million Dollar Business" from business leaders and they will talk about matching personalities to careers and careers in accounting, Wall Street, entrepreneurship and non-profit and social business.
There will be interactive student activities such as a trading simulation game, student business plan competition, networking with young professionals, team building, interviewing and negotiating skills, and social media, blogs, and viral marketing.
"I am really looking forward to see what college life is like in New York and to see how big business," Koen said. "I hope to learn more about how to run a business, how to get my business ideas out to the public, and to meet some new, awesome people in this program."
Koen first learned about the program when Minarets Principal Michael Niehoff sent the program information throughout the school around the end of November and he was immediately interested. Koen expressed his interest in the program and Jon Corippo, media coordinator and director of Minarets Charter, nominated Koen to take part.
"Matt is an awesome student all around," Corippo said. "He's got a high GPA, is a bass player in a great school rock band called 'The Goods,' and plays football. He's extremely focused on his future and this experience will propel him to the next level."
To be considered students had to have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership skills. With Koen's 4.0 grade point average, he soon had an interview with Professor Christopher Salute.
"When we began the interview immediately we connected," Koen said. "This made the interview a lot more relaxing and we shared a few common interest such as my current, and his prior, participation in football and we both had a drive to discover new ideas."
Koen said Salute noted his professionalism during the interview and said he was a "truly unique candidate" that had the "warm character and drive" they were looking for and that he was accepted into the program.
"After that I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy and excitement," Koen said.
However Koen said none of this would have been possible without Niehoff or Corippo and everyone at the high school.
"Matt Koen's applying to this unique program embodies what we're hoping for in terms of professional opportunities for our students," Niehoff said. "That is that they will take full advantage of what's available at school and in the community, while using their school experiences and academic training in order to do so."