University launches Olin Fleischer Scholars Program

High school students to live and learn on campus, start business venture

Olin Fleischer Scholars will live and learn on campus, visit St. Louis' top businesses and work together to start a new venture. Photo by James Byard.
During the one-week program, Olin Fleischer Scholars will learn about entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, accounting and supply-chain management. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)

Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis is launching the Olin Fleischer Scholars Program, a free one-week residential summer program for high school students who have limited financial resources or who will be the first in their families to attend college.

Scholars will live and learn on Washington University’s campus and visit some of St. Louis’ top enterprises. The goal is to give students a clearer picture of what careers in business look like and what skills they need to succeed, program director Chris Presley said.

“Shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Law & Order’ show what it’s like to be a doctor or a lawyer, but if you don’t come from a long line of business people, you may not know what it’s like to work on Wall Street or run a business,” Presley said. “We want to introduce students to the possibilities of business while they are in high school so they know what to reach for in college.”

The program will run July 23-29. During that week, students will work in teams to establish a new business venture. Along the way, faculty will teach students about entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, accounting, supply-chain management and communications.

“Business is about so much more than crunching numbers; it’s about communication,” Presley said. “How do you compromise? How do you lead? How do you handle conflicts? How do you work as a team?”

Students also will meet with Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Services representatives and participate in workshops to better understand how to pair their passions and their profession.

Students may apply to the program starting Jan. 2. Student must provide a short essay and two letters of recommendation. To learn more, visit the Olin Fleischer Scholars Program website.

Washington University alumnus Mort Fleischer, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1958, and is founder and chairman of the board of STORE Capital, conceived and funds the program. He already has launched Fleischer Scholars programs at Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas.

The Pipeline

Visit The Pipeline to learn more about the myriad ways Washington University faculty, students and staff mentor local students and support education in the St. Louis region.

The Olin Fleisher Scholars Program is the university’s latest initiative to serve St. Louis students. Other efforts include:

  • The College Prep Program: The three-year program prepares high-achieving, low-income high school students for life on a college campus. Students live on campus for three weeks, during which they participate in a number of STEM labs and writing workshops. In June, Washington University announced it would meet the full financial need of any College Prep graduate who is admitted to Washington University.
  • Charter school sponsorship: Washington University is the sponsor of the Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls and four KIPP St. Louis schools: KIPP Wisdom, KIPP Victory, KIPP Triumph and KIPP Inspire. As a new member of the KIPP College Partnership, Washington University has pledged to provide a free or low-cost undergraduate education to any admitted alumni of the national network of KIPP schools.
  • Institute for School Partnership: Providing professional development for teachers and classroom resources to schools across the region, ISP and its acclaimed MySci program are improving educational outcomes across the region.
  • Each One Teach One: About 200 Washington University students serve as volunteer tutors in local classrooms.
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