Behind the Scenes of Nice Idea | Susan Milender
Nice Idea Teaches Entrepreneurial Values to Students Across ND
We believe the future will be created by innovators. So, to nurture those innovators, The Nice Center has partnered with educators across North Dakota to develop middle- and high-schoolers entrepreneurial skills through our Nice Idea program.
Nice Idea is a free entrepreneurship program for North Dakota middle and high school students where they learn to be creative and entrepreneurial, connect with mentors and actual problems that need solving, and showcase their ideas to win support to make those ideas a reality.
Susan Milender is a 4-H and Youth Development Coordinator in Barnes County. We were lucky enough to sit down with her and ask how she has utilized Nice Idea to forward our shared values with her students, who are ages 13 to 15. She describes her role as one who works with youth to help them create positive actions for themselves, their families, and their communities.
What I love about the Nice Center is that their mission, for young and old alike, is to help North Dakotans be creative and innovative all the while employing empathy to solve problems and enhance our communities.
Susan’s students also shared her enthusiasm for Nice Idea, with one student reflecting that the exercises have increased her confidence and shown her that her ideas have value. Another student added that she’s realized positive changes can be implemented in her community.
“In addition to being our future, I think our youth is the most innovative and creative sector in our communities.” Susan is a big fan of her students; her mission is to see them succeed.
“To enhance our families and communities, we need to build on these traits and talents. The Nice Idea program allows youth to learn how to harness their creative talents, utilize their innovative ideas, and recognize the value of empathy in leadership and followership.”
Susan explained that the Nice Idea program helped her students learn the basics of problem-solving in the real world through hands-on activities. This change of pace from the typical classroom setup was one that the students were happy to see.
“I learned to see problems as opportunities by using a positive mindset,” said Ella, one of Susan’s students. Another student, Alyssa, explained that the Nice Idea program has allowed her to see more value in teamwork: “I learned the value of win-win. With collaboration, I can solve problems better and easier.”
I truly believe the results of this program will showcase themselves in the next generation of leaders. They will be true to themselves, true to the needs of their community and overall will help North Dakotans and our economy thrive.