Start a Company at CHANGElab


Program Description

CHANGElab is a program that builds the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurships. Students are empowered as changemakers, using their own innovations to disrupt the status quo and build a future they envision for themselves and their communities.

Junior Year

In the Junior year, students learn how to be entrepreneurs (starting and running businesses) by creating real companies.First, we develop the mindset of an entrepreneur (showing how it’s different from the programmed mindset taught in schools and for employees at most companies). We then focus on building student-led, student-owned companies by addressing real-world problems with innovative solutions. As students bring their ideas into existence (we help with the brainstorming) they learn business development and leadership for brand identity, product development, prototyping, market research, advertising, employee management, team building and finance.

Senior Year

Senior year is a culmination of all previous entrepreneurship work, where students become social entrepreneurs, analyze existing issues within our society and use their skills to address a societal problem by partnering with an existing community-based organization to create a sustainable, viable solution. These hands-on classes rely heavily on fieldwork (outside of high school) and use real business leaders as educators, speakers, and mentors. Students also have the unique opportunity to participate in city-wide presentations, events, and business competitions, where they can receive real funding to start their businesses!

Program Courses

Junior Year Senior Year
Marketing Financial Math / Launch Lab 2
Launch Lab 1 Strategies and Tactics
Launch Pad Change Lab
Junior-Level English Senior-Level English

* These courses alternate depending on the year--but both courses will be taken by the end of the two year program

Community Engagement

Local businesses, such as the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce, work alongside CAL CHANGElab students to develop innovative approaches for our community. These business leaders also act as mentors to CHANGElab students to advise the growth of our students’ businesses.

Growth your own business in high school

Students are not only learning about the fundamentals of being entrepreneurs, CHANGElab students work on building their own business while they are still in high school. Working on their brand, a valuable product or service, a structured marketing plan, and business structures and systems give them the confidence to be entrepreneurs once their time at CAL is over.

A Leader In College Credit

CAL has spent years building a relationship with MHCC to ensure that many of its courses remain dual-credit. CAL instructors often attend many workshops, meetings, and formally submit curriculum every year in order to remain eligible to offer courses that students also received college-credits from. We offer more college credits than any of the other programs at CAL. The following is a breakdown of which courses articulate with various MHCC courses:

CAL Course MHCC Course(s) # of Credits
Completion of all CHANGElab classes BA101 Introduction to Business 4
Completion of all CHANGElab classes BA150 Developing a Small Business 3
Financial Math BA128 Personal Finance 3
Total Possible*: 10

*Students must successfully pass the course in order to be awarded college credit
**Students also have the ability to earn as many as 14 college credits from their English course as well.

Extending Your Experience

Adam Reid is no stranger to starting a business. He currently owns Dovetail Coffee Roasters and Origin’s Coffee, Tea & Desserts. Previously he has owned a restaurant and co-founded or helped in the forming of several nonprofits in the field of education. It’s important to Mr. Reid to teach entrepreneurship skills “by doing. It’s like teaching swimming. The way to do it is by jumping in the pool and learning. You can’t learn to swim by reading it in a book or watching a video.” - Gresham Outlook

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What are you waiting for? Availability is limited for the 2018 school year and applications are coming in fast. It only takes 30 seconds to get started.


Course Guide


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