Local senior completes shadowing at Nucleus: Kentucky’s Innovation Center

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Submitted to the Spencer Magnet

Spencer County High School senior Madolyn Bell Bennett completed the graduation requirement of 15 hours of shadowing at Nucleus: Kentucky’s Innovation Center.

Now in its third year, the Senior Project was created to help students become college and career ready by obtaining real world experiences.
“The students are able to experience the work environment, develop contacts with local business people and build their resumes,” says Spencer County High School teacher Kim Cook.  In addition to the 15 hours of shadowing, students must also complete a community service-based project that impacts a social issue or problem that they feel should be addressed.  A variety of associated writing is also done in conjunction with their English class.
Maddie was very pleased with her experience at Nucleus, which gave her the opportunity to see the excitement of the entrepreneurial community in Louisville.  Her two days of shadowing at Nucleus coincided with the launch of the iHub and a press conference announcing this new co-working space for entrepreneurs.
Maddie also toured the new 200,000 sq. ft. building currently being erected on the downtown park.  She was really excited about the views of the Ohio River and downtown Louisville from the top of the eighth floor along with viewing the plans for the new rooftop living garden to be planted with native Kentucky plants being developed through a partnership with Bernheim Research and Arboretum.
Maddie’s second day was spent participating in the “pitch night” for the fall 2012 session of the Kauffman FastTrac TechVenture technology commercialization training program offered by Nucleus to start-ups and early stage companies.
Maddie would advise her classmates to take advantage of a similar opportunity: “Going to Nucleus and shadowing Ms. Brown really opened my eyes. It was amazing to watch Nucleus in action when working with start-up businesses,” she said.
Dr. James Ramsey, President of the University of Louisville, said, “At U of L, we’re providing research opportunities to dozens of high school students. Madolyn is one of those students who’s been provided a unique learning experience working with Nucleus and the people who run our innovation and research parks.”  
 Vickie Yates Brown, President and CEO of Nucleus, saw the Spencer County shadowing program as an ideal way to accomplish Dr. Ramsey’s vision for the Parks.
“Nucleus welcomed the opportunity to host Madolyn and support her shadowing program.   Nucleus hopes to continue to collaborate with Spencer County schools as well as others to expose bright students outside of the metro area to the economic development activities of the University of Louisville,” Brown said.
Maddie has not yet decided where she’ll go to college, though she does plan to attend a university in Kentucky.  She is considering a pre-med major and will use her career to serve children in some capacity. Maddie anticipates continuing to cultivate her love of music during college and afterward.
Nucleus is Kentucky’s Innovation Center and the economic development arm of the University of Louisville.