PFEW: A summer business camp for teens

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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (WHTM) – There’s a business camp for high school students many don’t know about. It’s during the summer and organizers are looking for more corporate donations now to help teens succeed.

The camp is called Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week. Every summer, PFEW hosts five week-long business camps at Lycoming College and Penn College in Williamsport. Thousands of Pennsylvania high school kids apply but only 2,200 are accepted. For seven days, the kids eat, drink and sleep business.

The kids create a product and come up with ways to market and sell it to be a success. Cumberland Valley High School Senior Sam Reed went to PFEW and loved it.

“I learned that being with a team and teamwork is very important in anything you do and that business isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is,” he said. “It was a real eye-opening experience to think that that much goes into even just a simulation of a company.”

For $575, a business can sponsor a student to attend PFEW. The family pays $285 for the week.

Katie Clarke runs LeTort Trust in Camp Hill. She donates $15,000 a year so high school juniors and seniors can attend the camp.

“We’re passionate about the program and it’s amazing,” she said. “We have piles of letters from children that have said that it’s not just a business camp, it’s a life-alternating experience.”

The goal now is to get more businesses to give so more students can attend the camp and to learn about business and learn about life.

“The skills they acquire with us, not only business knowledge but also confidence, the ability to communicate and speak effectively, write effectively, teamwork, and all of those skills work in whatever career they pursue,” said John Trombetta, CEO of PFEW.

Students who attend PFEW also automatically qualify for a $5,000 annual scholarship to attend Lycoming College or a $2,000 annual scholarship to attend Penn College.

For more information about making a donation – business or private – or details on the camp, go to https://www.pfew.org.

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