Chris and Resi Connell cofounded LOCAL STEW U, an alternative private high school that uses a sprawling farm as the main classroom for teens who have trouble sitting at a desk. The school fosters stewardship of the Earth while at the same time teaching students about the science, math, and economics of agriculture – with a little bit of ocean science mixed in. They use hands-on learning to instill a passion for conservation and reengage students in their education.
"Our vision encompasses a sprawling school based on the science, math and economy of agriculture (with trickles of ocean science), where high-school students will come to love learning while developing skills they’ll need for life. This learning style embraces everything we believe children who are frustrated by traditional school will need to get re-engaged with education and a life-time of learning."
The Connells sought SCORE mentoring as they moved their school from rural Virginia to Richmond. SCORE mentor Glen Sink helped familiarize them with the business landscape of their new city and helped them develop a rigorous plan for marketing, partnerships, products, and income.
With virtually no capital, the Connells have managed to find both an interim and long-term location for LOCAL STEW U and transform their previously rural operation into an urban farm school.