High School Students Who Live In Montclair Can Attend BELA Summer Business Academy

Business and Entrepreneurial Learning Academy (BELA) is now in its fourth year. The summer business program, run by Montclair High School teacher Kevin Richberg in partnership with the Feliciano School of Business at Montclair State University, offers a curriculum developed and taught by Montclair State professors. BELA gives students the opportunity to engage in project based learning in the areas of finance, accounting, marketing, real estate and entrepreneurship. Typically the program takes place on campus, but it will be remote this year (as it was last year).

How The Program Works

BELA is open to all rising 9th -12th grade students who live in Montclair regardless of what high school they attend. Graduating seniors are also welcome.

Students have the option of choosing one of two sessions. Each session lasts 2 weeks and classes are held Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm via Zoom. The session dates are as follows: 

Session 1: June 28 – July 1 (week 1) and July 6-9 (week 2). 
Session 2: July 12-15 (week 1) and July 19-22 (week 2). 

(There are 32 slots available for each session) 

Students will be placed in groups of four; each group will be given the same business case study. The groups will work through the case study based on a set of parameters provided by the professors.  On the last day of each session, each group will present a pinnacle project that highlights the ideas and concepts they’ve developed related to the case study. Parents, MSU professors, BELA’s Board of Directors, MHS administrators, local politicians and local media will attend the presentations.

Program History

BELA Summer Business Academy students in 2019

In 2018, BELA students were asked to find a piece of commercial real estate for sale in Montclair, then create ideas for a co/shared work space in that building (insert Unique Artistry).  In 2019 the students were tasked with creating ideas for the redevelopment of Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair. They were asked to take all factors (political, community, aesthetic and financial) into consideration as they developed their ideas. The results were so outstanding that our students received an invite to present some of their ideas during Montclair Design Week in 2019.

In 2019, students came up with different concepts for redeveloping Lackawanna — this group included a Trader Joes.

In 2020, the students worked with business owners, residents and area politicians in the South End in an effort to re-imagine Montclair’s South End business district in the age of COVID. Some of those students are still working with South End business owners in order to bring some of those ideas to life.

Students created vision boards for a reimagined South End.

BELA 2021

If your child is interested, please click the intake link, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XSnc25K8u6zJzXio4r0STcoMqZ331CFfDzCOa4BlaKI/edit?usp=sharing, complete the form and email it to kvrichberg@gmail.com by March 31, 2021.

Filling out the intake form doesn’t commit your child to the program, it just lets BELA’s organizers know you are interested. On April 5, BELA will begin interviewing students who have submitted intake forms. Students will be accepted on a first come first served basis to fill the 32 slots per session. The program cost is $400 per session.

If you have questions, contact Kevin Richberg at kvrichberg@gmail.com.

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