Lilly Endowment Grant Helps Launch Residential Camp BU: BeReal at Butler University

High School Students Can Connect from Around the State During this Leadership and College Experience.
BU: BeReal poster

Thinking about preparing for the future while in high school can be exciting and overwhelming. In a world that is rapidly changing, how can high school students prepare themselves to be strong leaders?

BU: BeReal posterBU: BeReal, a brand-new customizable, immersive leadership and college experience for Indiana high school students helps students discover, develop and enhance their leadership skills and appreciate others’ gifts while forging their own path. 

This program was possible through a grant of $907,993 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Butler University as part of the Indiana Youth Programs on Campus (IYPC) initiative. The grant helped the University launch Butler BOOST, an umbrella of programming designed to prepare Indiana youth for success in postsecondary education and careers through meaningful camp experiences. A working group of faculty and staff with a passion for youth programming came together to design a new camp, BU: BeReal, that would be fully funded through the grant.

Scholarships were also made possible through the grant.

“We are able to provide 50 need-based tuition assistance scholarship spots – fully covering the tuition of the camp ($750),” says Jessica (Meister) Stoltzfus, Associate Director of Camps Administration. “Students are able to apply when they register. Students who qualify for free/reduced lunch, are a 21st Century Scholar, or are first gen will automatically receive full assistance. Other situations will be taken into account, as well.”

Because I come from a population that is underserved, I wanted to alter that narrative in some way, shape or form,” Jose Olivares says, a camp counselor for the inaugural year. “Fortunately, BU: BeReal Residential Summer Camp shared my objective by having an effect on high school students’ lives. I decided to work at the camp because of this.”

Each student’s voice is important, so the camp will customize the experience based on their passions and future education and career interests. Students will then be placed into small groups, helping each other grow and process their experiences. Together, they will work collaboratively on exciting projects and reflect on their own leadership style.

Along with exploring who they are as a leader and receiving customized leadership training, students will hear from local industry leader guest speakers and rotate through hands-on sessions led by an array of Butler faculty members. Students will be able to explore various disciplines and learn how leadership weaves through each one. Students will not only learn more about themselves and explore various passions, but they’ll also experience what it’s like to eat in the dining hall and live in a dorm during their week-long stay. This was the vision for the camp – a space where students can explore college life and realize that they are already a leader – in whatever space they are in.

Camp Programming Within Lacy School of Business

BU:BeReal flyerEmily Hawk, Assistant Dean of Innovation, shared some of the specific programming BU: BeReal students can expect.

“We’ll have each group of campers for four hours–two before lunch and a return for two hours after,” she says. “Our programming, as at the other colleges at our University, will be interactive and include leadership skill training. We know that campers want to be immersed in our physical environments and interact with college students while honing leadership skills, so we’ll provide all of that.”

The morning programming will be “Welcome to Lacy School of Business” in the new LEED-certified business school building that opened in August 2019. Students will receive a tour of the facilities (including a scavenger hunt of symbols hidden throughout the building) and talk with faculty, staff, administration and summer students who bring life to that building each day.  

Students will also learn about the eight majors and minors for business and non-business majors. They’ll experience and learn about Butler’s Innovation Lab and residents, launch HOPE Foundation, discover Indiana Small Business Development Center’s Central Indiana Region, and learn about the Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence, where LSB’s minority-owned business initiative does much of its work with local businesses.  They’ll visit the Career and Professional Success office, as well as its professional headshot booth.

The afternoon programming will introduce campers to Butler’s and Lacy School of Business’s experiential learning with a taste of the Entrepreneurship class Real Business Experience. 

“I’ve been so fortunate to teach RBE over the past two semesters,” Hawk says. “Our students form teams and decide on leadership roles (V.P.s of Finance, Marketing, Operations, Sales, etc.) and then plan, launch, execute and finally close down a University-sponsored business in just one semester! They learn the business model canvas, apply for and receive a University loan, insurance and licensing, open a bank account and a Squarespace account, sell their goods or services, interact with customers, apply proof of concepts testing and keep their profits earned after re-paying their loan and all expenses.”

The Lacy School of Business and Butler University are excited and honored to be sharing this experience with local future leaders: area high school students eager to grow and develop into the talent our Central Indiana Region will celebrate in a few short years to come.

Celebrate the growth of your authentic self and access resources to uncover the best pathway for your future at BU:BeReal.

*This story was written in partnership with Butler University’s BU: BeReal.

Natalie Platt works in the commercial real estate industry and pursues her journalism passion by writing about lifestyle, relationships, and entertainment. You can find her on LinkedIn and Instagram

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