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CU Senior, Christopher Roberts, Finalist in PASSHE Student Business Competition

March 28, 2012

Cheyney University is proud to announce that Senior Christopher Roberts has been selected as  a finalist in the 2012 PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition.  He will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the State Capitol on April 2. 

A synopsis of Christopher Roberts  "Chester Community Publishing" project follows - 
The aim for Chester Community Publishing is to increase literacy in the immediate Chester area using youth & community's experiences and imaginations to create content that is relevant, informative, and entertaining. For those who take the leap of exposing their thoughts and other musings to the public we provide a favorable 50/50 split of profits from the sale of their work. “Stories Are Everywhere. Just Write It”

 

Roberts explains,  "The Community Publishing Project aims to increase reading, writing, and critical thinking skills amongst youth and adults in low-income communities by developing micro-publishing centers focused on creating community-level content. By partnering with schools and other community organizations, we look to open community members to a love of reading and writing by getting them involved in the process of creating, publishing, and marketing their very own book. Proceeds from book sales are split evenly between content creators and the program, creating an incentive for community members to continue creating.
"The blueprint for the Project  grew out of my awareness of the Early Childhood Education Crisis. Researchers assert that The availability of quality, age-appropriate books perhaps best exemplifies the achievement gap: an average of 13 unique book titles per child can be found in middle class areas while, in low-income neighborhoods, there is only one book title per 300 children. The Community Publishing Project looks to reverse this statistic by empowering communities to build print-rich environments from their own experiences and dreams. A community-relevant canon of books shall be born.


"My overall goal of The Community Publishing Project is to develop micro-publishing centers in low-income, underserved global communities with underperforming reading levels. The Community Publishing Project aims to open its first micro-publishing center in Chester, PA. Working with the Chester YWCA, we have found a dedicated space to present our workshops and develop books. In the Chester Upland School District, no group of students met the standard for state reading exams. We feel that this community is in need of help to garner out-of-school investments in education. By applying our model to this neighborhood, we are immediately creating an impact in a much-needed community. In Chester, we hold a complete advantage by being aware of the many community nuances. Having a personal relationship with Chester teachers and schools, we can leverage exposure opportunities that new entrants to Chester will not be able to replicate.


"The Community Publishing Project aims to create revenue through book sales, an advertiser-supported magazine, government subsidized tutoring services, as well as traditional non-profit funding streams. We strive to find a balance where a center can sustain itself on the basis of book sales and local community funding. In our financial plan, we examine the revenues and sales goals necessary to make for books as well as the magazine."

 

Students from the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities – many of them budding entrepreneurs themselves – were invited in the fall to develop a plan for a start-up business and to submit it in the first PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition.

Twenty-five students have been chosen as finalists in the competition and will be recognized during a program to be held beginning at 6:30 p.m., April 2, in the East Wing Rotunda of the state Capitol. Winners of the competition will be announced at the conclusion of the event.

Made possible through a Keystone Innovation Grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the sponsorship of the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) and J.P. Morgan, the competition was designed to provide student entrepreneurs a real-world opportunity to pitch their original business plans and to win funds to assist in the start-up of their businesses. PSECU President Gregory Smith will participate in the awards programs along with PASSHE Board of Governors Chair Guido M. Pichini and PASSHE Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh.
 
Winners of the completion will be able to use grant funds for business plan development; product prototype; legal, accounting, marketing and commercialization support; and/or to purchase specialized equipment if essential to their business development. 

Students from the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities – many of them budding entrepreneurs themselves – were invited in the fall to develop a plan for a start-up business and to submit it in the first PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition.

The competition was open to all of the nearly 120,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the 14 PASSHE universities. A total of 236 students submitted business ideas in the competition. Of those, 49 business venture profiles were selected as semi-finalists.

 
Winners of the completion will be able to use grant funds for business plan development; product prototype; legal, accounting, marketing and commercialization support; and/or to purchase specialized equipment if essential to their business development.   
 

The 25 finalists were selected by a panel of judges that included Michael Gildea, executive director of the Pennsylvania Angel Network; Pam Martin, director of the South Central Region of Ben Franklin Technology Partners; James Steeley, assistant vice president of finance for the Pennsylvania State Employee Credit Union; Finesse Cobb, vice president of Apparel, Inc.; and Michael March, an analyst with Osage Venture Partners.

Made possible through a Keystone Innovation Grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the sponsorship of the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) and J.P. Morgan, the competition was designed to provide student entrepreneurs a real-world opportunity to pitch their original business plans and to win funds to assist in the start-up of their businesses. PSECU President Gregory Smith will participate in the awards programs along with PASSHE Board of Governors Chair Guido M. Pichini and PASSHE Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh. 
 

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The Community Publishing Project is a company based on the triple bottom line. We measure our success based on our profitability, sustainability, and community impact. We find reading and writing personal experiences to be a win-win situation for all parties involved and the sharing of information to develop community camaraderie and improved learning outcomes. Stories are everywhere—Just write it.