#ItsTimeWilmDE Stories series is a collection of submitted stories written by individuals like you. Below is a submission from Ryan Venderlic, Student Enterprise Manager at Junior Achievement.


Ryan was a West Virginia native and now is a five year resident of Wilmington. He works at Junior Achievement of Delaware, a non-profit that focuses on inspiring students to dream big and reach for their dreams, and prepares them to succeed in a global economy by fostering work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial skills s. Prior to moving to Wilmington, he served as the Economic Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya from 2011 until 2013.


Here are Ryan’s thoughts on Wilmington in his own words:


The Story of Wilmington

I believe we are finally seeing a true, collaborative effort from all of the necessary stakeholders. From industries within the private, public and community-based sectors, Wilmingtonians have stepped up in the last year or so in order to put personal agendas aside and work towards a larger goal/mission, creating a vibrant Wilmington that makes the city a fun place to live, work and play in. This is one lesson that I learned while serving in the Peace Corps that is pertinent to the success of any community, small or large. Further, communities can only prosper when opportunities and needs of those communities are identified and solved by the community members themselves; not by an outside group saying ‘what to do and how to do it.’ Investing in the people of this city needs to be at the forefront of what we do day in and day out and I believe we seeing momentum on that front today.


What will be the story of Wilmington this year

I work for Junior Achievement of Delaware as the Student Enterprise Manager. My main role is to support our oldest program (celebrating 100 years in 2019) called the JA Company Program, in which high school student entrepreneurs identify needs, come up with solutions and launch real businesses while working together with caring adult role models – learning all of the 21st-century skills needed to succeed in a global economy. My hope for Wilmington is similar to this program, in that we take advantage of established resources; ensure partnership and roles for all community stakeholders and work vigorously to create a beneficial ROI for everyone. Some people would say that this is how you build an entrepreneurial mindset – I say this is how Wilmington creates a positive brand image centered on investing in its people and making it one of America’s Best Small Cities to live in, work in and play in!


What do you think is the story of Wilmington? To be featured in the #ItsTimeWilmDE series, share your story by emailing it to stories@wilmington.love  


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