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Walmart Foundation sponsors Ament

Stephanie Ament, a student from Wadena Deer Creek High School, recently received sponsorship support from the Walmart Foundation to attend BestPrep's Minnesota Business Venture, a summer education program focused on career planning and financial literacy. More than 160 generous sponsors donated funds to support students' attendance.

The program, which is held in partnership with the Herberger Business School at St. Cloud State University and the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at St. John's University, included 344 Minnesota high school students from more than 100 schools. The program focused on important business components such as entrepreneurship, market strategies and presentation skills.

"This was an amazing experience," Ament said. "I have improved my interviewing skills. I never had a real interview for my job, so it was fun actually doing one and doing well at it."

Resident Business Leaders, who are local business professionals, served as mentors to the students throughout the program. These volunteers, from companies such as Allianz Life, Ecolab, Medtronic, RBC Global Asset Management, Securian Financial Group, TCF Bank, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Travelers, lived on campus for the week and guided a small "company" of students through the curriculum and interactive activities.

"Minnesota Business Venture is a unique opportunity for high school students to gain skills that will help them in their future. The interviewing, teamwork and communication skills developed during the week help prepare students for success in school and the work world," said Andrea Hanson, Minnesota Business Venture director.

While attending Minnesota Business Venture, students learned how to write a business plan, interview for a job and begin investing. More than 160 Minnesota entrepreneurs and business professionals volunteered to share their experiences and business insights with the future workforce.

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