Brookwood High School Teacher Cindy Quinlan was awarded the 39th Annual Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. As part of the recognition, she will receive $7,500. Quinlan was one of 12 educators from around the United States presented with the award at the 96th Annual National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Washington, D.C.
This entrepreneurship teacher says she is thankful for receiving the award. She says, “It is an honor to be recognized as a 2016 Leavey Award Recipient. To be welcomed into this family of elite educators is very humbling.”
Quinlan earned the honor for a program she leads— The Brookwood Entrepreneurship Program— which teaches high school students skills that improve their employability in an uncertain economy. Students are shown how to create their own earning opportunity in the entrepreneurial spirit of self-employment. They also have the opportunity to start their own small business by the end of their 10th grade year. The students in the Entrepreneurship Project also are part of the “Entrepreneurship Alliance” with the City of Snellville. Each student business is provided a local entrepreneur mentor who volunteers to be a guest speaker, works with students in developing their businesses and prepares students to pitch their business startups successfully. One lesson taught throughout the program is social entrepreneurship, which is the concept that as an entrepreneur you must give back to the community.
Quinlan says the award is another indication that the Brookwood Entrepreneurship Program is on the right track. “We have created a transformational learning environment that empowers students to create opportunities for not only themselves but for their community around them,” Quinlan said. “Gone are the days where students step right out of college into the welcoming arms of long, pensioned careers. In our program, students learn the skills to create their own futures thus ensuring their employability in an uncertain economy. Without the incredible support of Gwinnett County Public Schools, who supports innovative programs, the Brookwood Entrepreneurship Program would not have reached the level it has today in such a short span of time.”
The Leavey Awards, were established by the co-founder of the Farmers Insurance Group, the late Thomas Leavey and his philanthropic wife Dorothy, in partnership with Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. The Leavey Awards is among the nation’s top honors bestowed upon outstanding teachers, at every educational level, who create and conduct programs in entrepreneurship. Freedoms Foundation is a non-profit organization located in Valley Forge, PA. Its mission is to educate about American rights and responsibilities, honor acts of civic virtue, and challenge all to reject apathy and get involved. It has chapter all over the United States that support this mission through local programs and fund raising efforts.