“I just love being a part of it because it’s something I wish I had in school and growing up,” Curry told a classroom of students at North Dallas High School.
The Venture – Entrepreneurial Expedition is a program developed by EVERFI to guide students through their personal journey to become successful in the workforce. The digital course is comprised of three modules that cover key concepts around generating business ideas, market research, growing a business, finances, marketing, and creating a business pitch.
The Dallas Mavericks and the Seth Curry Foundation expanded the program to include a total of 22 schools and over 4,000 students by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
To jumpstart the program, Curry made a surprise visit last week to North Dallas High School, one of the North Texas schools participating in the Venture Entrepreneurial Expedition this school year.
“Each year the school districts identify the schools that would most benefit from the program,” said Hannah Sherertz, Dallas Mavericks Director of Community Relations. “The students complete the online entrepreneurship program in the fall and then they use the spring to build their own business pitches which they present to a panel of judges, including Seth Curry.”
The son of an educator, Curry is a staunch supporter of education initiatives and is a natural in the classroom. Thursday, he told the students that education actually plays a more important role in his life than even basketball.
“You usually learn the skillset taught with this program in college,” he said, “or in my case, after college. It really can change your life. Take what you do best and give it your all.”
Before working with the students, Curry spoke with the high schoolers on the importance of leadership and education – and perseverance – to succeed in high school and prepare for college and career readiness. He then went around and visited with each person as they pitched the initial stages of their business model.
During the spring, the students will present in a format similar to the popular TV show Shark Tank, where Mark Cuban is one of the co-hosts. In fact, Cuban teamed up with Curry back in 2018 for the Venture – Entrepreneurial Expedition Business Pitch Competition and helped dish out awards and provide life-changing business advice.
Troy Powers teaches the class that Curry visited and said it was a huge surprise for his students to see a Mavericks player appear at their school.
“It’s one thing for our students to see these sports figures on the court,” he said, “but to witness a real life, sports star walk through these doors is something they’ll never forget. It shows that Seth cares about them as people and as students. He took time to listen to their ideas and pitches and then encouraged them about the importance of excellence in other areas of their lives. Many of them will likely never interact with a professional sports athlete again in their life and I think the students will be motivated to take their business model up a notch after today’s visit.”
The Venture—Entrepreneurial Expedition course guides students to develop a personalized plan for their individual business, along with a roadmap for academic and career success. The Mavericks and the Seth Curry Foundation said it’s a goal to expand the program into even more schools next year.
Sherertz said Curry’s return to the Mavericks excited everyone because he plays a vital role in the community.
“He really cares about the students and provided them with true, authentic feedback to encourage and empower each student,” she said. “When he returned with the Mavericks, he said he wanted to be involved with this program again and we’re just thankful to work alongside a standout athlete and exceptional leader for today’s youth.”