In 2015, Cardinal Gibbons High School embraced the entrepreneurial spirit that had long been present in its students and alumni by introducing “iCube”, the club for Innovative Crusaders Understanding Business Entrepreneurship. Now numbering 300 students strong, iCube “helps hone the students’ entrepreneurial skills, gain a competitive edge when applying to college, establish business relationships, and provide a possible college major and career path, as well as invaluable workplace experience.”
The original seed for iCube was planted by Principal Jason Curtis as an initiative under the school’s Corporate Business Alliance program. Jason was hoping to strengthen the school’s bonds with area businesses and reach out to alumni and parents of students who could share real life entrepreneurship experiences with the students. There was also a desire to create internships for juniors and seniors and GCHS alumni enrolled in college. Jason asked Jim Baker to take a leadership role in helping to form iCube, not just as a club but, as a complete entrepreneurial organization. As a very successful entrepreneur, business advisor and father of four CGHS alumni Jim brought tremendous experience, passion and commitment to his role as mentor to the new group. Dedicated meeting space was created by carving out a portion of a hall and adding glass walls and some basic furnishings. Student leaders and their mentor meet there after school to plan monthly field trips to area companies, work on internship projects and an annual career fair, and host guest speakers and workshops. Alumni like the founder of Stealz, John Charlesworth and Steve Lopiano, Executive Vice President of Power Analytics Corporation have been great assets to the program. Steve notes “My volunteer work at Gibbons is personally rewarding and I am grateful for an opportunity to give back by helping students with internships and mentoring.”
While providing business insights, work experience, and career direction to students are definite goals of iCube, its aspirations go way beyond those foundational activities. In developing the idea into a reality, Jason was also looking for an opportunity for students to build leadership skills and encourage innovative and creative thinking. The skills and experience gained through iCube spill over to parishes, neighborhoods, and civic organizations served by the students. That original 2015 seed has grown into a very healthy plant with strong roots and beautiful branches.
For more information about iCube and internship opportunities, please contact mentor Jim Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.cghsnc.org/campuslife/co-curricular/icube
Photos and some article text are excerpted from the CGHS iCube website.