Business drives the world, and at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (CHCA), students drive the businesses. CHCA students graduate as CEOs, operations and supply chain managers, developers, marketing consultants, training specialists, and human resources directors. From inception to launch, student-run businesses develop future leaders in the international global marketplace.
Alex O’Brien was 12 years old when he envisioned an organic school garden. By the time he graduated fromCHCA five years later, he had collaboratively established an organic garden and vineyard called Eagle Farms. The original eight raised produce beds grow peppers, zucchinis, pumpkins, berries, and beans.
Today, Eagle Farms is part of CHCA’s Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Programme — which consists of a 4,000 square-foot greenhouse, a community market, teaching kitchen, and corporate headquarters. The farm presents an entire natural ecosystem of learning opportunities. Younger students harvest seeds to study plant life cycles, dig for sweet potatoes and observe pollinators. Older students cultivate agricultural skills by building compost beds, and working through aeroponic, hydroponic, and soil-based growing systems. Business students calculate product costs, develop marketing campaigns, build mobile sales platforms, and project long-term growth potential.
Cultivating sustainability through action
O’Brien started the garden with the help of his family, eventually involving student volunteers and donating produce to local food banks. Now that he’s applying for medical school, he is witnessing the benefits of his applied learning project at CHCA. “What I’ve noticed throughout college is that a lot of things that you will experience are focused on problem-solving in teams of people,” he muses in the CHCA Entrepreneurial Podcast.
“The garden was absolutely a collaboration between me and other people. It taught me a lot about the value of commitment and determination. It may seem almost impossible at first, but once you get a team who is really committed to the idea rather than just the product, then you can do something really amazing,” O’Brien shares.
At CHCA, entrepreneurship and sustainability are valuable components of the schooling experience. They complement a rigorous college-prep curriculum, which prepares students for the next phase of their education, and equips them to approach life with curiosity, creativity, and competence. In the same way that O’Brien learnt to ideate and execute a long-term project, CHCA students regularly explore unique opportunities on school grounds.
Growing entrepreneurs of tomorrow
Eagle Farms is joined by a coffee bar, a smoothie shop, and a full-service print and design studio. These opportunities provide CHCA students with the best practical exposure to horticulture, sustainability, product development, retail sales, customer service, design, and operational systems while learning essential lessons in business. Upper school students in grades nine to 12 earn academic credit for entrepreneurship courses and those who complete a capstone project earn a CHCA Entrepreneurial Studies Certificate.
Each CHCA business brings learning into physical spaces on campus. Student leaders are encouraged to invest in the leaders that follow, which ensures continuity and continued growth. Additionally, Cincinnati is home to major Fortune 500 companies, and CHCA is uniquely positioned to access top level CEOs and industry influencers. With resources, time, hands-on learning, and access to field experts, it’s no surprise that CHCA students flourish.
Find your path at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
With faith at the centre of all pursuits, CHCA students see the long-term benefits of their learning and consider how their contributions make real-world impacts. Take the organic farm — what started as a curious child’s idea continues to support all stages of education at CHCA.
Hands-on learning and real-world application are also essential components of the International Student Programme (ISP) at CHCA. International students receive a tailored, personalised experience that cultivates academic, cultural, and social integration into the school community. As part of the city’s largest international student programme, ISP students benefit from experienced faculty and a suite of bespoke services designed to give all CHCA students the benefits of a global learning community.
Every child is welcome to find their place and explore their gifts through the educational opportunities at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. Find out more on the official website.