On Sept. 8 2015, Askinosie Chocolate will begin accepting applications for its 2016 Chocolate University program and for the first time is accepting applicants from Christian and Greene counties.
The Chocolate University high-school program seeks to inspire young people that small business can be a solution through an experiential program about small business, entrepreneurship, direct trade, the cocoa industry, community development work and more.
The program culminates with a week spent on the Drury University campus for an immersive week of courses on leadership and Tanzania culture and then a trip with Shawn Askinosie, founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, to remote southwestern Tanzania where the company sources cocoa beans and has partnerships with a cocoa farmer group, village and two schools. The students have a front-row seat to an international business transaction.
Meredith Waites, a freshman at Vanderbilt University and 2014 Chocolate University student says the program changed her life.
“Chocolate University completely changed my perspective of service from solely volunteerism and providing aid to creating enterprise and opportunity for others and finding sustainable solutions to world problems,” she said. “CU has opened so many doors for me and impacted my leadership and service more than I could have anticipated.”
The rigorous and three-step application process includes an essay, recommendation letters and in-person interviews. Only current juniors or seniors may apply for the 12 spots — half of which are scholarship spots, the recipients of which will have their expenses funded by generous donors to Chocolate University.