Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | July 2, 2012

MET School Entreprenuer Wows IPIC

Requesting a zoning variance to turn your garage into a home recording studio isn’t typically found in a high school curriculum. But then again most high school aren’t encouraging students to “find their passion and work around it” like they do at Providence’s Met School.

Home to the nation’s first entrepreneur center in a public high school, the Met School is not only changing the lives of its students, but also the fabric of the Rhode Island community, by planting the seeds of innovation in the next generation.

That was clear when Met School Sophomore Diane Sutherland, owner of The Garage Recording Studio presented to the Innovation Providence Implementation Council recently. She entered the Met School thinking that she might want to combine her love and talent for music with education, but after being an intern for an elementary music program her goals changed.

“I didn’t like teaching and I didn’t like children,” she said with candid honesty. “I am just really glad I figured it out now.”

And while many young adults would have faltered, Diane tried something else. The following year she lined up two internships – one that would allow her to learn sound production and the other that would teach her how to write a business plan. She has successfully brought those two experiences together with The Garage Recording Studio. So far she has raised about $20,000 in start-up capital and equipment and netted close to $5,000. She has won various student entrepreneur competitions and recently earned the Young Entrepreneur Award from Ernst & Young.  Her ultimate goal, after college, is to own a mill building that includes both a recording studio and performance space.

Co-Director and Principal of the Met School Dennis Littky said Diane is just a small sampling of the students who attend the Met School and says all students have a passion and commitment to driving entrepreneurship for the long haul. Current businesses range from an all natural baking operation, to a jewelry manufacturer, a backpack design business and even a soda company.

“These are not school projects,” he said of the student businesses. “These are long term businesses.”

Great news for the Rhode Island economy in the year’s to come.

Click here for more information on the Met School.

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