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Mt. Pleasant Area student to attend PA Free Enterprise Week

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
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Mt. Pleasant Area sophomore Alexandrea Pritts has been granted a full scholarship to attend Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week 2014 this summer on the campus of Lycoming College located in Williamsport. Photo taken in May 2014

Alexandrea Pritts, daughter of Dave and Andrea Pritts of Mt. Pleasant and a sophomore at Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School, has been granted a full scholarship to attend Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week 2014 at Lycoming College in Williamsport this summer.

“I'm really excited. After hearing about it during a presentation at school, I decided to sign up,” Pritts said.

Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week is a weeklong economic education program from July 6-13 that offers students an inside look at the private enterprise system and the way the free market functions.

School teachers and counselors recommend the candidates who are then reviewed by the PFEW staff.

Admission is based on motivation to learn that is demonstrated through essays submitted by the applicants.

“I had to give a list of all my activities and write a short essay of why I wanted to go,” Pritts said.

Having attended several Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics camps in the past, Pritts said she felt she would benefit from the business-themed atmosphere of the upcoming event.

“It's something I will experience in real life so it will be good for that,” she said.

Those accepted are awarded scholarships, which cover all program costs, excluding a nominal registration fee and transportation to and from the Lycoming County city.

When students arrive for their one-week session in July or August, they are housed on the campus in dormitories where they experience a taste of college life.

During the week, student “companies” simulate the actual operation of their own businesses for the equivalent of three years.

Business volunteers serve as “Company Advisors” who mentor the students as they face many of the same decisions real executives confront.

The companies compete against each other in the areas of management skill, return on net assets, a marketing and advertising campaign, and a presentation to stockholders.

Company Advisors do not make decisions for their team, but suggest available options and share their own experiences and challenges.

Scholarship winners learn the value of teamwork, cooperation and leadership.

Dozens of world-class speakers present seminars and discussions covering topics like the relationships of business with labor, government, and consumers.

The students also hear talks about business ethics, management and leadership skills, the economic system future, the global marketplace, money and banking, business operations, careers in business and marketable skills.

“This will giver her a chance to be away from home and see what college life is like and make new friends,” David Pritts said. “I'm very proud of her for taking the initiative to do this.”

Totally funded, taught, and staffed by the Pennsylvania business community, PFEW is supported by seven manufacturer's associations, more than 100 chambers of commerce, and more than 800 companies.

Now in its 36th year of operation, the event's governing body is the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education, a nonprofit organization.

Those interested in more information can call the foundation at 814-833-9576 or visit pfew.org.

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