BizTank helps students gain skills, confidence for potential careers

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Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) and other area students are shown at the BizTank Student Career Program at Geneva Supply, Inc out of Delavan, Wisconsin. The program teaches students about overcoming obstacles and finding careers they love while having the opportunity to earn scholarship dollars.

BELOIT - Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) students who have gone through the BizTank Student Career Program say they have not only gained confidence, public speaking and technology skills but have also learned how to create one's own job.

BizTank - created by co-founders of Geneva Supply, Inc. out of Delavan, Wisconsin - helps kids learn how to channel their passions into meaningful careers and to overcome obstacles. Guest speakers in sometimes "out-of-the-box" careers explain what got them to success including their failures. Speakers have ranged from a business etiquette consultant to a martial arts reviewer on YouTube. Other speakers have included: financial advisers, culinary professionals, CEOs, city planners and city councilpersons, a digital marketing company owner, an attorney, a fashion designer and someone who made her own line of cosmetics.

The course culminates with students creating a Kids in the Tank podcast after researching a topic or speaker.

Every student who attends, completes paperwork, does volunteer service and a job shadow is eligible for a $500 scholarship. Some students have attended up to three sessions earning $1,500 in scholarships.

To get students to BizTank in Delavan, Hendricks CareerTek has partnered with BizTank to open up the opportunity to area high schoolers.

"We get free food and listen to an inspiring speaker tell us about career options," said student Gloria Heiss.

BMHS student Deep Patel said he enjoyed one of the keynote speakers who spoke about how he lost his father and had to find a variety of jobs to help him and his mother support the family.

"We learn how their struggles and adversities made them the successful people they are," Patel said.

Patel said he will get $1,000 scholarship thanks to taking two sessions of the program. He strongly recommends the program to other students.

"Transportation is provided, and it's worth the time," Patel said.

Student Jorge Jurado-Garcia, who will receive $1,000 in scholarship funds, said BizTank showcased people who had created their own unique careers. Jurado-Garcia said he also enjoyed learning how to give a presentation. He shared the story of his weight loss due to working out for his Kids in the Tank presentation.

"Through the program I learned how to have a voice and identity which I can share," Jurado-Garcia said.

CareerTek Business Education Director Tina Salzman encourages southern Wisconisn business leaders to attend the Biz 360 Conference hosted by Geneva Supply at Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 Geneva. St., Delavan on May 16 to learn from successful business people and to help support the BizTank program.

There are a variety of sponsorship levels, or prices, to attend. For more information contact BizTank@GenevaSupply.com.

"You will hear from successful business people and national speakers while the proceeds will go toward supporting a great program which provides scholarships to kids," Salzman said.

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