Speakers introduce Enterprise Leadership Conference in PRIME

Lucianna Peralta and Carissa Tsui

Students from Palo Alto High School who are interested in business consider a new spring educational opportunity after an informational meeting Wednesday in PRIME about the Enterprise Leadership Conference.

Enterprise Leadership Conference speakers Kris Olsson (left) and Brooke Schiller (right) stand side by side holding a ELC flyer. The two were the speakers present at the ELC information meeting during PRIME Wednesday. “You’re going to be learning leadership and life skills like how to get along with others,” Schiller said.  (Photo: Lucianna Peralta)

ELC is a yearly event where around 60 high school juniors in Silicon Valley area are selected to focus on developing business and business-adjacent skills.

The conference is sponsored entirely by various local Rotary clubs, which are part of the larger worldwide Rotary humanitarian organization and allows participating students to attend without paying any tuition or fees.

Students were able to sign up for an informational meeting for PRIME this week in the library. Two speakers came and spoke at length about the conference, which will take place over three days from March 29 to March 31 next year. 

According to the ELC website, the program is centered around entrepreneurship and creativity.

Over the course of three days, students are placed in groups of six from various schools and together they engage in team-building activities and listen to keynote speakers. The program’s final project is a Powerpoint presentation detailing a new business proposed by each group.

Kris Olsson, one of the speakers encouraging students to apply, has experience counseling ELC before.

“If you have a product in mind or maybe a service . . . this is a great way to understand all that goes into bringing that product or service to life,” Olsson said.

Though ELC certainly is primarily an educational experience, participants can also forge very strong connections in a very short amount of time, according to Olsson.

“[ELC is] not just working,” Olssen said. “There’s bonding, there’s different activities that are there just to release tension, to have fun.”

Coral Johnson, one of the juniors who attended, was considering applying to gain the experience to expand her cookie business.

“It sounds like a very unique experience,” Johnson said.

Junior Jacqueline Li, another meeting attendee, shared a similar sentiment.

“It [ELC] is a really great opportunity,” Li said. “It sounds really interesting and would be really fun [to take part in] outside of our school curriculum.”

However, Li was concerned about the timing of the conference.

“Since it’s during school days and hours and also right before Spring Break, it could be really inconvenient,” Li said. “Especially with tests and everything getting in the way.”

Interested students can apply at ELC’s website. The application, due on Dec. 2, requires three essay responses and a letter of recommendation.

For more on ELC click this link to see an informational video.