When young students come from a life of relative privilege, their task is to learn empathy and understanding of the challenges of living in poverty. At Spectrum Health Innovations (SHI), we pride ourselves on our work with the bright young minds of area students. While much of our collaboration is with local college and university students, at the GVSU Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy (TESA), we work with high school students who range in age from 13 to 18.
TESA is a five-day academy that brings together students from across Michigan. Student teams develop business ideas into finished concepts that, on the final day of the academy, are presented to a panel of local business professionals, competing for monetary prizes. The 2016 TESA student teams addressed the lack of access to health care and how it impacts the health and wellness of low-income families and individuals who live in poverty. Thirty-six students participated from 23 West Michigan high schools.