Mr. Steward and the entrepreneurship program at Gwendolyn Brooks have become integrated into the culture of the school. Every school has their own unique culture. At Gwendolyn Brooks the students identify the Entrepreneurship & Business program as the unique factor that separates our school from the rest. Not many high schools can say they have students spending their summer break at Columbia University for a business program or alumni that are overseas giving panel speeches. Most importantly the program teaches you how to start your own small business and how to think differently from everyone else. About half of all college students will be unemployed once they graduate and the number of people that are unemployed in our nation is an equally dismal statistic. If the Chicago Public School system fails to see how an entrepreneurship education is more important now than ever then CPS will fail to properly prepare its students for the real world.
Now that I have graduated from high school and I am in college I can relate more and more to the importance of the entrepreneurship curriculum at Gwendolyn Brooks. At the University of Illinois job opportunities are heavily fought over because the sheer size of the school. The first thing recruiters look at is your GPA but once they have found a group of students that have the same GPA then your social skills will be put to the test. Above everything else, I have learned the necessary interview and business etiquette skills at Gwendolyn Brooks to help prepare me for anything in life. Thanks to the mock interviews hosted by Mr. Steward I was able to prepare for my scholarship, internship, and college interviews. Along with these mock interviews Mr. Steward shows his students how to write a resume and even brings in industry professionals to critique them. Every student who has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by Mr. Steward can comfortably say they have a job or internship opportunity.
Besides the necessary skills that Mr. Steward has taught me to prepare for life, he has also spent so much of his personal time just talking or mentoring me. When deciding on which colleges to apply to, finding the necessary financial aid, and finding an internship for the summer Mr. Steward has always pulled through. He always makes himself available to his students even if they have a personal dilemma that they want to discuss. He is one of the most sympathetic and resilient men I know. I give him all of the credit for anything that I have accomplished or will accomplish. Gwendolyn Brooks has many amazing teachers but Mr. Steward also acts an amazing mentor to his students.
The type of education that I received at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep is unparalleled to anything that I could ever learn. The interview, finance/math, and public speaking skills that I have learned in high school have impacted me greatly. Thanks to Mr. Steward and the curriculum set by his program I have successfully operated a small business, obtained two guaranteed internship opportunities, and I'm attending the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign “College of Business” without taking out any student loans. I have only Mr. Steward and the entrepreneurship program at Gwendolyn Brooks to thank for my profound success as a student. He is an incredible teacher and mentor. To allow Mr. Steward to leave Gwendolyn Brooks would be an enormous mistake.