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Business Scholarship? ‘I mean, it’s the reason I’m here’

By Tyler Strohl ’16

November 25, 2015

Does owning a business, being a full-time student, and playing right wing on a hockey team sound like too much? That’s what Steven Danko ’16 manages on a daily basis.

Steven, a double major in marketing and management from Lindenhurst, Illinois, received a full-tuition Business Scholarship from Carthage. The idea to apply for the scholarship stemmed from his experience as a business owner since high school.

Steven Danko ’16 received a full-tuition Business Scholarship to attend Carthage.He owns and operates The Offensive Line Apparel, a screen-printing business in his hometown.

“My dad had a machine that could do it and would make us T-shirts for my sports teams,” Steven said. “When I knew I needed to start making money, I started making T-shirts, too.”

He since has designed several apparel items for Carthage student organizations, including Psi Chi Honors Fraternity, Psychology Club, and the ice hockey club team. A Pennsylvania native and lifelong Pittsburgh Penguins fan, Steven plays hockey for Carthage.

That business venture in high school first led Steven to consider business as a career. But, going into the scholarship competition, he wasn’t sure where it would lead.

The Carthage Business Scholarship

Carthage will award three more Business Scholarships to eligible high school seniors next spring: one covering full tuition and two others worth $27,000 per year. To compete, admitted students must submit a Business Scholarship application by Dec. 3.

“Before that, my plan — my only plan — was to go to community college for two years and figure out what to do,” Steven said.

He admits he wasn’t sure about his chances.

“I had other schools I thought about attending,” he said, “but the Business Scholarship intrigued me and I thought, ‘Why not?’”

Almost four years later, he remembers “freaking out” when the call came to inform him he had won. When asked what his scholarship meant to him, Steven paused.

“I mean, it’s the reason I’m here,” he said. “It’s my education. I feel so lucky.”

Carthage will award three more Business Scholarships to eligible high school seniors next spring: one covering full tuition and two others worth $27,000 per year. The application deadline is Dec. 3.

Finalists are invited to campus for the daylong competition in February. Besides taking an exam, the competitors have discussions with Carthage business students and alumni and learn about short-term and semester-long study abroad programs.

The day he competed, Steven met a lot of people who became his classmates.

“It’s so cool seeing those people still here in my classes four years later,” he said.

Steven’s two favorite classes have been Operations of Management and Human Resources Management. He took both with Mark Miller, associate professor of management and marketing.

“When I came to Carthage, I thought marketing was the way to go, because of my T-shirt business and what I thought I liked,” Steven said. “But, after taking some management classes, I think that’s my area, and I would like to be an operations supervisor or have an HR position right after school.”

He also hopes to keep up with side projects and small businesses in his free time.

“I have ideas as an entrepreneur,” Steven said, “so keep your eyes out.”

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