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Last December, Harvard Business Services launched a new scholarship program, with the goal of supporting entrepreneurial-minded students. We opened up the program to anyone enrolled in an undergraduate business program in an accredited U.S. college or university.
As expected, applicants for the $1,000 award represented a wide range of backgrounds, locations and ambitions. From high school seniors to adults returning to school, we enjoyed reading, in short essays, what each applicant was envisioning as their future (or, in some cases, current) business.
Once we reviewed all applications and essays, we were ready to choose our inaugural winner of the Student Entrepreneur Scholarship. We are excited to name Cassandra Hostuttler of New Martinsville, West Virginia as our 2019 scholarship recipient!
Cassandra’s essay highlighted the local non-profit company she is working to launch, tentatively named Hillbilly Helpers. As she put it, “Community welfare offered by Hillbilly Helpers will consist of resources that can't be obtained through the state WIC or SNAP programs. Diapers, wipes, toilet paper, and other daily necessities will be available to low-income individuals and families. Coupons and samples will be distributed when available, along with information regarding jobs, housing, and discount programs.”
Beyond that, she sees the non-profit offering educational programs and activities to local youth that, in her words, “foster a love of knowledge.”
Cassandra’s inspiration is not only a passion for West Virginia and her local community; but also, her own personal experience. At times, she has struggled to find resources available to low-income families in her area as she balances the costs and demands of her own education while raising three children, not to mention those of launching Hillbilly Helpers.
As a student at Independence University, an accredited online university, Cassandra has become more familiar with important business skills, including management, legal compliance, planning and budgeting, and, she tells us, her aspirations don’t stop with only the non-profit. She’s also spent significant time thinking about a for-profit company focused on the “sustainable, free-range, organic, and humane” raising of livestock and produce.
“Agriculture is extremely important to most rural West Virginians, and those who don't raise livestock or garden tend to fish or hunt on a yearly basis. For this reason, any large agricultural operation would need to be handled with the same love and care as a home operation. Gaining local customers would be a labor of love, and ensuring quality product that keeps customers coming back would be the pride of the business.”
When we decided to launch this scholarship, we knew we wanted the award to go someone with a well-developed concept and an obvious passion for the business they sought to launch. Cassandra and her non-profit embody those elements and, as she looks to translate her personal experience into growth for her entire community, we are honored to award her this scholarship to make the financial journey just a bit easier.
We wish Cassandra the best of luck with her education and hope to hear more about Hillbilly Helpers in the months and years to come!
*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.
There is 1 comment left for 2019 Student Entrepreneur Scholarship Winner AnnouncementCassandra Hostuttler said: Sunday, August 4, 2019
I would like to thank Harvard Business Services once again for this blessing. When applying for scholarships I'm usually a pessimist, but being chosen as the winner for this one has boosted my confidence and strengthened my commitment to my schoolwork and business goals. My tip for any scholarship applicant is to stay positive. There are hundreds of scholarships to apply for, so just try to stay patient, focused, and oriented towards your goals! I cannot describe how grateful I am to have received this award. Good luck to all 2020 applicants! - Cassandra HostuttlerHBS Staff replied: Monday, August 5, 2019
Congratulations again, Cassandra! Thanks for participating and the encouragement for future applicants. Good luck with your education and business goals!