“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I read this Albert Einstein every day. The classroom atmosphere that I develop at the Entrepreneurship Academy @ Linden Pointe is purposeful. Many classrooms have made me feel invisible and unvalued. I felt like one of many, all doing the same task at the same time trying to find the same result. But we all have different skills. And I knew if I ever had a classroom of my own, the atmosphere would be built around celebrating each individual.
When students walk through my classroom door I immediately accept them as they are and celebrate their skill sets. I have no expectation that this class will change them or of what they might accomplish during our time together. For some of my students, it will be the first time that they will share their skills, learn what they are skilled at or feel comfortable enough to tell us what they are passionate about. When you accept a person just as they are, they feel comfortable and relaxed enough to share who they really are – not just a who they are boxed into during high school. When a person’s true self is known and celebrated, real relationships form and are long lasting.
My view on the Entrepreneurship Academy students starts with admiration. Having the courage to take a chance, learn a different way, participate fully and leave average behind is something I did not do until I was almost twice their age. They are the focus of the class, they are the reason the program exists, they will be the next leaders in our communities.
Originally from Erie, PA, Debbie has resided in Hermitage for the past 13 years. She previously worked in Purchasing for Erie Steel Products and also as an Administrative Assistant for Wilcox Forging. Before moving to Hermitage, Debbie built and owned an upscale, 2,800 square foot gourmet kitchen retail store called LeChic Gourmet, where she sold products both in store and over the internet. In 2014, she took the step of going back to school to earn an associate’s degree from Laurel Technical Institute in Sharon, PA.
While working at the eCenter, Debbie continues to feed her entrepreneurial spirit in her spare time by managing her own handmade bath and body products business, called LeChic Bath Boutique. Debbie is the proud wife of a serial entrepreneur husband, a mother to five grown children, and now a grandmother to six wonderful grandchildren living in Ireland, Michigan, North Carolina, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In her limited free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, sewing, and selling her LeChic Bath Boutique products on social media, Etsy, and eBay.