CSU, Chico News

California High School Students Compete in Commercial and Social Entrepreneurship Tournament

Date: 04-26-2007

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Curt DeBerg
Business Administration

Eight regional champion teams from high schools across California will travel to Los Angeles on April 28 to compete in a contest based on entrepreneurship and community service. Teams from Santa Monica High School, Santa Barbara High School, Golden West High School in Visalia, Highlands High School near Sacramento, Oakland Tech, Castlemont High School in Oakland, Benicia High School and South Pasadena High School will be competing.

The Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) is a program that promotes entrepreneurship and community service by linking university students from across the world to secondary schools in their area.

Curt DeBerg, professor of business administration at California State University, Chico, is the founder of SAGE. "California was the first state to participate five years ago," DeBerg said. "Now SAGE has grown to include seven other states and 12 countries. This year, the winner of this event will advance to a national competition in New York City, and the winner of that event will compete in the SAGE World Cup, which will take place in Odessa [Ukraine] in August."

Last year’s California SAGE winner was Santa Monica High School. Teri Jones, one of Santa Monica High’s teachers and an advisor to the school’s SAGE team, said, "SAGE provides students the opportunity to gain confidence and poise as they present their projects. My students are excited to defend their title!" Santa Monica’s team runs a student-owned cafe and has instituted a recycling program on campus.

The California SAGE project leader is Lauren Foster, a CSU, Chico senior English major from Sacramento. Foster said, "The program has given me a chance to apply my innate leadership skills, not only to mentor my assigned high school from Oakland Tech, but to motivate seven other Chico State SAGE mentors to help their high schools. This is service-learning and social entrepreneurship at its best."

Beth Gorley, who represents the Allstate Foundation in California, is pleased to support SAGE. "This program aligns with Allstate’s goal to make economic resources and knowledge accessible to the community," said Gorley. "By teaching young people financial literacy and economics, they will be empowered to make informed decisions regarding their financial security throughout their lives. Allstate is pleased to once again support this innovative and successful program this year."

The three main sponsors of California SAGE include the Allstate Foundation, Wells Fargo and NUMMI. Allstate provides a $20,000 grant to CSU, Chico to support the program. Other local sponsors include Ray Morgan Company, Round Table Pizza/Sisco Enterprises, Asset Management Group, Deloitte Touche and Mary Ginno.

For more information about SAGE visit http://www.csuchico.edu/sage. Curt DeBerg can be reached at 530-898-4824.The press is invited to the Gateway Sheraton-LAX on Saturday, April 28 for photo opportunities and interviews of students, teachers and judges.