Through an initiative to bring together students and professionals, the co.space will allow students to live with mentors from their chosen field of study starting in fall 2013.
Executive Director of the co.space Spud Marshall said in an email that there has been a good handful of applicants, but co.space is always looking to hear from more people to make the experience as diverse and interdisciplinary as possible.
Students enrolled will live and work with mentors, who are young professionals in the community.
Potential mentors that have been interested are willing to move to State College from Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Florida and even Australia, Marshall said.
The purpose of the mentors is to help students have a smooth transition into the real world while living and working beside people who are already making an impact in the world, Marshall said.
Through the mentors, students can have unlimited resources that can help make a difference for their goals.
Early accepted student Eli Kariv was drawn to the co.space by the idea of living with mentors in the house.
“Getting involved and knowing all of the connections not only helps me academically but gives me the chance to succeed outside of school,” Kariv (sophomore-business marketing) said.
Kariv is looking forward to living and working with people of similar minds, where people like him interested in entrepreneurships can help each other to start their careers.
The co.space is a four-semester study and living option, and the process begins in the fall of the student’s junior year and continues to the end of their senior year. Student will work with New Leaf Initiative, a non-profit organization located in State College that helps promote world change, in the spring semester of their junior year.
New Leaf will then help the students secure an internship for the summer before their senior year.
During the student’s senior year the program will focus more on one-to-one training with a mentor and students will be required to complete an individual project of their choosing to help prepare for post-graduation success.
Eric Saunder, a co-director helping to launch co.space, is optimistic that the program will be successful because it gives students a chance to “engage the things that they’re really passionate about.”
Marshall said he believes there is no better time for Penn State students to bring together ideas to create a better tomorrow.
“co.space is designed to help ignite more sustainable and equitable communities between students and mentors,” he said.
State College resident Cindy Way is proud to be a supporter of the co.space and their mission.
“I think it’s important for young entrepreneurs to stay here in State College,” Way said. “It will help make the community a younger town and will help grow and expand business and downtown relations.”
State College will be the first location in the program, and co.space has a goal to someday create houses all over the world, linking people together in an international network.
After making significant progress on the co.space home this summer, Marshall and his team are finishing up the legal documents and hope to announce a location within the next two weeks.
On Sept. 4, the New Leaf Initiative will be holding an Open House from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at its headquarters at 100 S. Fraser St.
Applications for the co.space are live until Sept. 10 and can be found on thecospace.com.