Juniors and seniors in Greene and Christian County high schools have until September 30th to get their applications in for Chocolate University. That’s a program hosted by Springfield-based Askinosie Chocolate allowing students to travel to Tanzania to learn about the cocoa industry — and about business and culture.
CEO Shawn Askinosie said they aren’t necessarily looking for students with a perfect ACT score.
“We’re looking for students that can demonstrate that this experience would be catalytic for them,” Askinosie said.
The 2020 class of Chocolate University will have 14 students, half of whom will receive a full scholarship. Askinosie Chocolate is hosting its final information session Wednesday, September 11 at 5:30 PM at 514 E Commercial Street.
On their trip to East Africa, students learn how small businesses can offer solutions to the world’s problems. Askinosie’s chief kinship officer, Missy Gelner said the students get to observe direct trade in the international cocoa industry as well as community work.
Gelner, says students get to jump in on a long-term, trusting business relationship.
“That, I think, is such a unique opportunity. I don’t know of another company in Springfield, or really anywhere, that offers high school students that type of hands on experience — especially halfway around the world,” Gelner said.
Askinosie Chocolate was named one of Forbes’ 25 Best Small Companies in America and has won numerous national and international awards.
Those who’d like to know more are encouraged to visit www.chocolateuniversity.org.