GenEI director named Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator

From left, Cathy Ashmore, executive director of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, presents the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator award to Cheryl Peters, executive director of the Generation E Institute.

Cheryl Peters, executive director of the Generation E Institute at Kellogg Community College, recently received the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator award at the National Entrepreneurship Education Forum in Atlanta.

Peters was recognized by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, based in Columbus, Ohio, for her work in developing curriculum in local schools and running GenEI, which inspires students to become entrepreneurs.

Peters started with a vision as a classroom teacher to create the entrepreneurial mindset in middle school students. She attended entrepreneurship training in 2003 and returned with materials she used as a pilot with her eighth-grade Springfield Middle School students. Since then, she has developed curricula for middle school and high school students and helped create GenEI as well as the Center for Entrepreneurship, both of which are based in Battle Creek and housed at KCC’s downtown office at 15 Capital Ave. NE.

“Entrepreneurship education provides the opportunity for youth to dream, explore and seek out what it is they love to do or would like to do,” Peters said. “It goes hand-in-hand as a young person chooses a career pathway based on their talents and abilities.”

“These are the people who will contribute to a thriving workforce and provide the conditions essential for healthy, growing communities,” she said.

GenEI has certified more than 275 facilitator/educators throughout the United States and supported more than 11,000 students who became involved with the curricula.

Peters works with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and many advisory boards related to entrepreneurship initiatives at various levels of education. The annual GenEI Student Business Showcase is known throughout Michigan and other areas of the nation. The Showcase celebrates the innovation of young people and helps them become economically contributing citizens. The eighth annual Showcase is planned for May 14, 2013, at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

According to the Consortium, Peters was recognized not only for what she has created and taught others, but for how she has helped change the lives of students.

Students such as Michael Smith, of Mike’s Digital Videos, told the Consortium he has five clients thanks to the Business Showcase in which he participated, and has more than $3,500 in his KCC scholarship account because he was allowed to use his imagination and become a problem-solver during his school entrepreneurial experience.

For more information about the Generation E Institute, visit or contact GenEI at or 269-441-1238.

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