Entrepreneurship for the Public Good

2005–2006 EPG Fellows


Anton Bates ’07
Business Administration Major
Murfreesboro TNOn Life: I believe that hard work and perseverance will take you far in this world.
Patrick Bradford ’07
Art Major
Birmingham ALOn Life: As a student studying visual art, business skills are often overlooked. For this reason I have a great desire to pursue these skills.
Sarah Coram ’06
Psychology Major/ Women’s Studies Minor
Cleveland TNOn EPG: Mostly, I have learned about myself. EPG has helped me discover even more about my own interests and passions. I believe that is a key point about the program. It teaches you about yourself. That’s a valuable and priceless lesson.
Kelvin Dillard ’08
Business Administration Major
Hopkinsville KYOn Life and EPG: Entrepreneurship is not only a word, but a title that I want to be associated with my name and career. I have always had dreams of owning my own business, and I want to be in a position where I can positively use my creativity and abilities as well as provide others with the same opportunities.
April Farmer ’07
Business Administration Major
Knoxville TNOn Life: When I am put into many different situations, you will almost never get the same reaction out of me.
Meklit Haile ’07
Economics Major/ Business Administration Minor
EthiopiaOn EPG: EPG has given me a chance to stretch my knowledge about Appalachian communities. It was interesting to find common problems between Appalachia and third world countries. What strikes me the most is that there are a lot of people who live here but do not realize that there are big social, political and economic problems that need attention.Before EPG I always felt intimidated by the outside world. I know I have potential, but before I started things, I always doubted myself. Part of me is scared of failure. I now believe any kind of skill can be learned and developed through experience.
Micah Harding ’08
Business Administration Major
Mt. Orab OHOn Motivation: The thing that energizes and motivates me is the thought of one day having a degree, to be a highly educated person, and to be a highly productive member of society for the common good of mankind.
Kaydene Jones ’08
Business Administration Major/ Spanish Minor
JamaicaOn EPG: The most important thing I have learned through EPG is to never settle for mediocrity. I have learned that even when I think I am good at something, there is always room for improvement. I have learned to push myself beyond any mental or physical limits. I have learned to think in new and creative ways. All this has translated into greater self-confidence; I have worked harder than I have ever worked before.On Life: Studying Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank made an impact on me. Yunus personifies my social entrepreneurial mission in life. I want to act as a change agent by providing financing to individuals who are usually not eligible base on financial status. By helping others to create wealth for themselves, I am creating wealth (value) for myself.
Shawn Kennedy ’07
Theatre Management Major
Richlands VAOn Life: Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is not a path and leave a trail. —Ralph Waldo EmersonOn EPG: EPG has not only shown me the classroom experience that every student needs, but an effective and efficient way to apply the classroom to real life situations. I feel that EPG has prepared me for a true life experience and has given me the tools to take the steps I need to grow.
Jumis Locmelis ’07
Psychology Major/ Business Administration Minor
Riga , LatviaOn Music: Before I came to study in the States, I played the guitar in a band in Latvia . One of the songs we recorded was voted as high as #2 in one of the biggest radio stations in Latvia and stayed on the charts for several weeks while competing with international popular music and professional artists.
 Kristin Sams ’08
Psychology Major
Charlotte NCOn Leadership: If asked what a leader is, prior to EPG, I would have said “the person in charge.” Now I realize a leader is much more than that, and that being a follower is a component of being an effective leader. As leaders, we believe in servant leadership, that our businesses should exist to serve those in need.On EPG: I was privileged to be exposed to many great people doing remarkable things in their home communities. I remember some good advice on entrepreneur gave me: “If you are in business only for the money, then you will not be successful.”
Samantha Stolt ’08
Biology Major
Sparta NCOn EPG: Buddy LaRosa impressed me with his involvement with youth in boxing. He started his business with only $400 and now it’s a $4 million company. He has sent two boxers to the Olympics every year which I think is amazing.Where Are They Now?
Samantha is now married and resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She currently works with Gilda’s Club South Florida in handling events and managing volunteers. Gilda’s Club South Florida is a non-profit organization that provides free support to those who have been touched by cancer. Samantha states “I am truly grateful for the EPG program. Without the introduction to the non-profit world that I received through the program I probably wouldn’t have found my way here to this wonderful organization.”
Jessa Turner ’07
Sustainable Building Design Major
Berea KYOn EPG: This class has been another perfect example of getting what I need to make the most of my journey during this life. I look forward to the day when EPG students come to my business and I can tell them how I once walked in their shoes.Where Are They Now?
Since graduating in 2007, Jessa Turner and her husband, Nathan, have purchased a farm on the outskirts of Berea, where her EPG project, HomeGrown HideAways, has taken root and now flourishes.  The 100 acre farm and forest is both educational facility and eco-retreat where visitors can learn about energy efficiency, ecological design, natural building, and appropriate technology.

Before purchasing the farm in April of 2009, Jessa worked with local clients to build Kentucky’s first code-approved EarthBag home as well as an Art Studio that employs StrawBale, Cob, and SlipStraw, all methods of building with local, natural materials.

This past August, HomeGrown HideAways celebrated their new location with a three day festival, Holler in the Holler.  This plans to be annual event that showcases local food, music, dance, art, and poetry. Jessa is proud of the fact that this is a coal-free event and nearly 90% of the waste was either recycled or composted.

HomeGrown HideAways is equipped with 30 RV hook-ups, bath house, stage with covered pavilion, concession stand, and miles of hiking trails. With future plans to go solar, the farm currently offsets around 85% of its electric usage through BlueGrass Energy’s EnviroWatts program. Extensive efficiency upgrades have been done to the farm, reducing energy usage by 50%.

Starting in spring of 2010, HomeGrown HideAways will once again be hosting design/build workshops including the installation of a solar hot water panel on the bath house and the construction of a new Cob Cottage that will be available for public use. For more info, visit www.HomeGrownHideAways.org or call 859.986.DIRT.

Polina Vusata ’08
Business Administration Major
Donetsk , UkraineOn Appalachia: Donetsk is the coal capital of Ukraine . The Appalachian region reminds me of it through the people and circumstances.On EPG: The community partner project is the most valuable experience I have had. It embraced everything: team work, challenges, meeting new people, finding ways to help and being an example.
Melissa Williams ’07
English Major/ Business Administration Minor
Fairfield ALOn EPG: The program for me was a dose of reality. I realized that there are these real people dealing with real situations that make all the difference in the world; this is the greatest aspect of EPG. It challenged every Fellow to accomplish tasks we perhaps never thought possible. I have gotten the chance to interact with businesses that have genuine interest and passion in serving others. I have also gained a broader understanding of the world and the way in which society behaves and the impact one person can have on thousands.On Life: The greatest act of humankind is the gift of giving to others not what they want, but what is needed; the unsaid.

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