ARC accepting summer program applications

Published 10:51 am Friday, January 17, 2020

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WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently began accepting applications for the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA) in Pittsburgh, Penn., and for the ARC/ORNL Summer STEM Program in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Each program is a free immersive learning experience specifically for the Region’s high school and/or middle school students, and includes room and board, transportation, activity fees, and student stipends.

The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA), to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 6-31, will support youth entrepreneurship and innovation across Appalachia. This new residential program, designed specifically for high school students enrolled in their senior year during the 2020-21 school year, includes a curriculum focusing on mentorship from leading entrepreneurs and businesses in the Pittsburgh area, skill building, access to soft and hardware maker spaces, and connections to the ARC’s larger regional network. Throughout AEA, students will develop their own ideas and innovations in a team format and pitch their final ideas to their peers, business leaders, and investors for a chance to win seed funding.

As part of AEA, all expenses associated with participation, including room and board and transportation are covered. Students enrolled in AEA will also receive $600 stipend during the tenure of the program. This is the inaugural year for the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy which is sponsored by ARC and is made possible by the Institute for Educational Leadership. More information and application materials for the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy are available at Applications for AEA are due March 6.

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“Entrepreneurship grows our regional economy, creates jobs, and can have a transformative impact on Appalachian communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy represents an opportunity for Appalachian students to learn about what it takes to build a small business and all the aspects of entrepreneurship within our market based economy. I hope the students selected for this unique program will take the skills and knowledge gained and apply it to their own innovative ideas, helping create sustained economic opportunity in their hometown.”

ARC is also accepting applications for the ARC/ORNL Summer STEM Program, a residential hands-on-learning experience for Appalachia’s high school and middle school students, and for high school teachers in STEM-related fields. As part of the ARC/ORNL Summer STEM program, students work with award-winning scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, one of the largest U.S. Department of Energy research facilities in the United States, on guided group science, math, and computer science technology research projects, while high school teachers work with science practitioners to develop STEM-related curriculum. The program culminates in a final graduation ceremony where participants showcase their work. The middle school program is July 11-17, 2020, while the high school student and teacher program runs July 5-17. As with AEA, all expenses associated with participation, including room and board and transportation, are free to enrollees. This is the 30th year of the ARC/ORNL program. More information and application materials about the ARC/ORNL Summer STEM Program are available at Applications are due February 28.

The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.