June 27, 2024

LISD TECH Center Students Showcase Innovation in Nation's Capital

Two students standing outside Capitol building
Solis and Juarez Outside Capitol
Two students presenting to a crowd at an event
Juarez and Solis Presenting at EPIC Event

In a room overlooking the White House, LISD TECH Center students Diego Juarez (Tecumseh) and Sam Solis (Onsted) recently represented Lenawee County in the nation’s capital as they presented a team project at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation event. Their project was part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Employer Provided Innovation Challenges (EPIC), an initiative aimed at bridging the gap between education and industry through high-quality, project-based learning.

Juarez and Solis were Marketing & Entrepreneurship students during the 2023-2024 school year. Their presentation focused on increasing awareness of job opportunities in the chemical industry within Lenawee County through a digital marketing campaign. Supported by EPIC and Lenawee Now, their campaign highlighted innovative solutions to real-world industry challenges, showcasing their technical prowess and practical business acumen. This opportunity became available after an impressive presentation to local chemical company representatives earlier this spring.

Lenawee Now was selected as one of only 9 Employer Clearing Houses across the United States to pilot EPIC this first year. The role of the Employer Clearing House is to connect employers with concrete real-world problems or projects to teams of students who work to address them and present their results back to the employer.

“Coming to Washington, D.C. to present really broadened my horizons, and it will be something I remember for the rest of my life,” said Juarez. “I believe networking and building connections with people in different industries through this event will have a positive impact on our careers moving forward.”

“It’s hard to describe how grateful we are to be part of this event,” said Solis. “Looking back on this experience, a key takeaway for me the reward of opportunity – really jumping on an opportunity when it’s given to you.”

Both students agreed that their experience at the LISD TECH Center was instrumental in their success at this event. “I was able to take the knowledge I learned in class and put it into practice through our digital marketing campaign,” said Solis.

“We are incredibly proud of Diego and Sam’s accomplishments,” said Angela Sieler, Marketing & Entrepreneurship Instructor. “This experience will undoubtedly shape their future careers and inspire other students to pursue similar paths of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

“These students are extremely talented individuals, and I am so proud of the way they represented their classmates and our programs,” said Ben Murray, LISD TECH Center Principal. “The LISD TECH Center is committed to skill-based learning opportunities, ensuring students like Diego and Sam have a strong foundation regardless of their next step, whether it is higher education, additional training, or successful entry into the workforce.”

“This is just one of the many ways Lenawee Now and the LISD TECH Center are partnering with regional employers, including our local chemical companies, to build a consistent and sustainable talent pipeline,” said Jack Townsley, Lenawee Now Industry Sector Coordinator. “We are extremely appreciative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for their leadership with EPIC, and for recognizing the extraordinary efforts of these two students on a national stage.”

Juarez graduated this spring from Tecumseh High School, and has lined up a marketing internship for this summer. Solis recently finished his junior year at Onsted High School and will be returning to his LISD TECH Center program in the fall.