By: Stephanie Scott & Kirstyn Dubar
Photos by: Deniece Griffin
Unique Rodriguez, current Junior, is a Social Entrepreneurship major and recent recipient of the Francis Wood Wilson Scholarship. The coveted scholarship is dedicated for entrepreneurship students who already have their business plan and model ready.
What was the business plan that you submitted for the Francis Wood Wilson Scholarship?
My business plan was all about creating programs about water safety, first aid, and CPR in minority communities. Unlike most outreach programs, I am first focusing on adults. It would be a short summer course that teaches adults how to swim and perform potentially life saving acts of first aid.
Why did you want to focus on adults instead of children?
I believe that education and one’s life outlook begins with the parents and adults around you. I learned how to swim from my dad, and never took formal lessons. For many people of color, parents themselves do not know how to swim and many poorer families can’t afford swim lessons, thus creating a cycle. So instead of having parents to keep enrolling their children in lessons which typically do not stick, I wanted to start with parents. They in turn can teach their children and have a bonding moment that gives them a new activity to enjoy together. In addition, this gives the parents peace of mind that their children have the knowledge and tools to protect themselves around waterways and pools.
Why did you decide to apply for the Francis Wood Wilson Scholarship?
I came across the scholarship on the GSU scholarship website, and decided to apply because I met all the required qualifications and it was all about what I wanted to do.
How has this scholarship helped you in your entrepreneurial goals?
My plan is to put it straight into savings and figure out how I will distribute into my business when the right time comes.
Were you fearful to apply for the scholarship due to the potential competition?
I was definitely hesitant because I knew that I’d be disappointed if I didn’t get it. But in the end I just decided that the worst that can is happen is that I don’t get it. So I just dismissed those doubts and I went for it, and look what happened, I’m sitting here now!