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CAPS Network Entrepreneur Panel Discussions Hosted by St. Louis CAPS

On Friday, October 20th the St. Louis CAPS program welcomed over 120 high school seniors from four states (Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Wisconsin) to Downtown T-REX, a technology startup incubator.  Even though the students were from different states, and attend different high schools, the common thread that brought them together was that they all participate in CAPS.  CAPS stands for Center for Advanced Professional Studies and the national CAPS Network spans 11 states, 33 programs and 70 high schools.  On this particular day students from 9 of the 33 CAPS programs assembled for a chance to network and connect with local entrepreneurs as well as each other.

The morning began by allowing students from different CAPS programs to network with one another and connect with students in similar course offerings from other states.  The rest of the day was spent interacting with four different entrepreneur panels.  Each entrepreneur brought their own story, message and inspiration for students to absorb.  The CAPS student associates researched panelists and organizations prior to the event and during the panel sessions the student questions drove the conversation.  At the conclusion of each panel there was time for students to connect one-on-one with panelists.

Students that participate in CAPS programs spend an entire year learning directly from business and industry partners in the career field they are interested in pursuing.  The CAPS courses offered align to high-skill, high-demand professional workforce needs in the local economy.  Instead of traditional high school assignments, students work on client projects and passion projects that are usually equated with professionals already in a particular business and industry.  We often say that CAPS students are allowed to fast-forward beyond college to test-drive their future career while still in high school.

CAPS Network Programs in Attendance:

St. Louis CAPS – Missouri

Parkway Spark! – Missouri

Wentzville Ignite! – Missouri

St. Charles CAPS – Missouri

Northland CAPS – Missouri

Blue Valley CAPS – Kansas

TCALC in Topeka – Kansas

EXCEL in Little Rock – Arkansas

Oconomowoc – Wisconsin

Thank you to our 15 panelists:

Sylvestor Chisom

Founder & President Showroom Shine Express Detailing and The Young Entrepreneur Publishing Group


Ronnie Notch

Co-Founder and CEO Notes for Life and Founding Partner of Breach eSports


Conrad Sansone

Co-Owner of The Normal Brand


Devin Turner

Co-Founder at FocalCast and Entrepreneur in Residence at Capital Innovators


Sarah Badahman

Founder at HIPAAtrek


Abby Cohen

Co-Founder and Co-CEO Sparo Labs


Monica Wisdom Tyson

Entrepreneur and Chief Strategist, Zenith Bleu Consulting


Bobby Everetts

Senior IT Security Consultant Brown Smith Wallace


Elaine Queatham

Founder and CEO at Savvy Coders


Jo Otey

Customer Success Manager at Microsoft


Arika Parr

Community Development Specialist at Microsoft


John Clark

President and CEO at Masterclock


Brandon Dempsey

Owner of goBRANDgo!, Author of Shut Up and Go


Kunal Parbadia

Chief Operating Officer at Better Weekdays


Jennifer Carroll

Owner and Pharmacist at Medicine Shoppe