(Marcia Morphy)
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 3:08pm

Forty minority junior and high school students from the Rochester City School District-East High, Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Wilson Commencement and School of the Arts, among others-will graduate Saturday after completing an unconventional summer school program at Rochester Institute of Technology's Saunders College of Business.

The apprentices have been attending the Future Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (FBLE) program the last 10 weeks-analyzing data from Rochester-based minority companies to develop cost-effective, practical solutions the companies can implement to solve their business challenges. Results of their findings will be presented from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 17 in Max Lowenthal Hall at RIT.

FBLE is under the helm of the business school's new Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, led by director Delmonize Smith, professor of management in Saunders College.

Smith started the Saturday-sessions program in 2009 to help local youth develop their business, problem-solving and leadership skills through real-world learning. "FBLE is a means to benefit the community through the development of the next generation of business leaders who will be starting and running companies that drive our local economy and create jobs," he says.

"In the very beginning, I knew there was a need, and we've been able to expand the number of students and the number of schools and districts taking part," says Smith. "I've seen some tremendous success stories."

For more information about the Future Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs program, contact Denise Bell at 585-456-6645 or go to

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