The Cochrane Summer Economic Institute, (CSEI) is an intensive four-week program open to all rising high school seniors from the greater Richmond area. The program partners an immersive group project with learning about the economy and entrepreneurship through a series of workshops by local business leaders and Collegiate faculty. Students commit to participating June 27-July 22, 2016 and receive a stipend. Established in 1979, the Powell Economic Education Foundation manages the endowments whose annual growth helps fund the Cochrane Summer Economic Institute.

Twenty-five outstanding high school students from fifteen Richmond area schools have been accepted to the 2016 CSEI program. These students will have the invaluable experience of working on immersive group projects that will provide necessary skills for a career in today’s commercial markets. Students will be exposed to topics and projects in  marketing, development, finance, product design, distribution, management, leadership, research and analytical competence.

Accomplished business professionals have been tapped to work with the CSEI participants in their fields of expertise. Leaders share business case studies and lessons from their career experiences that are directly applicable to the immersive group projects and the leadership development of students. To promote teamwork, students also participate in a team-building exercise by providing manpower to R.A.M.P.S. (Ramp Access Made Possible by Students) whose mission it is to purchase and assemble modular wheelchair ramps for people in need.

Partner for-profit, B corporation, and non-profit organizations create an immersive group project for a team of three to four high-achieving students who spend four weeks studying economic and entrepreneurial business concepts as well as the issues and objectives of their immersive group project. Following is a list of the 2016 consulting teams projects:

ChildFund exists to help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities. ChildFund promotes societies whose individuals and institutions participate in valuing, protecting and advancing the worth and rights of children.The CSEI consulting team will be working in partnership with the ChildFund Innovation Team to adapt their new Learning Seed initiative for a school environment, helping to close the gap between students in the U.S. and overseas. The team will also help to design the new online platform for a program that will reach students and teachers across the US and the world. 

ChildSavers guides Central Virginia’s children through life’s critical moments with trauma-informed mental health and child development services. At the core of ChildSavers’ mission is a fundamental commitment to the mental well-being of children and the positive bond between adult and child. To substantiate the impact of ChildSavers’ professional child development services and the importance of providing funding, the CSEI team will be assisting with the organization's information needs to illustrate the positive impact ChildSavers’ services have on children, their parents, and childcare staff. The consulting team will also research and make recommendations on the potential of peer-to-peer fundraising for ChildSavers.

Impact Makers is a Richmond based information technology and business consulting company that is committed to helping the community by donating pro bono consulting services and 100% of its profits to charities over the life of the company. As a founding B Corp member, Impact Makers is using the power of business to affect positive social change. Richmond is home to more than a dozen certified B Corps but there are many more companies interested in obtaining that recognition and furthering the social enterprise movement in our area. The CSEI consulting team will help Impact Makers and the area B Corp community to determine the best ways to engage those companies and grow that interest. That support will include the development of a social media strategy and related digital marketing initiatives.
Indivior is a pharmaceutical company with a patient focused approach. As a world leader in addiction treatment, our mission is to pioneer innovative prescription treatments for patients around the world suffering from the chronic medical conditions of addiction and its comorbidities. The CSEI consulting team will be working with Indivior’s Marketing Department to complete market research and build an actionable business plan to address a prevalent business challenge.

Currently under construction, the ICA is poised to become a cultural linchpin for the city of Richmond. As a non-collecting institution, ICA will showcase a fresh slate of changing innovative exhibitions, performances, films and special programs. With planning underway, ICA and VCU Sculpture are seeking insight from the CSEI team to gain a better understanding of how both organizations can collaborate with the Richmond community to best serve teen audiences through programmatic offerings. VCUarts Department of Sculpture + Extended Media is also launching the VCUarts Sculpture Outreach Program. This program will provide Greater Richmond’s underserved community unprecedented access to the top sculpture program in the United States through free Saturday art classes for high school juniors and seniors.  

Virginia communities depend on SunTrust’s consistent commitment to give back and get involved by providing grants through the SunTrust Foundation, serving on nonprofit boards, partnering with diverse organizations, providing financial resources and employee volunteering. As SunTrust continues to enhance and expand their corporate philanthropic efforts, a need to create a process for capturing and sharing information on community support has evolved. The CSEI consulting team will be conducting research and synthesizing results to determine the visibility and impact generated by the generosity of SunTrust’s Virginia Division and its employees.

Based in Richmond, WPP is a national leader in delivering multi-specialty pediatric care to very specific regions outside the United States that are lacking in basic health care services at all stages. WPP provides live-changing and life-saving solutions to a wide range of critical cases by establishing strong relationships with partner countries that allow for in-depth hands-on care, both abroad and at home. As the messaging and donor environment has changed over time, WPP is seeking to expand brand awareness and engagement – both actively and digitally – among younger audiences by capitalizing on current media and digital platforms and trends. The consulting CSEI team will observe and research WPP’s current messaging and donation appeals to help determine a strategy for creating an engaging social campaign focused on generating peer-to-peer interactions among activists.

Accomplished business professionals have been tapped to work with CSEI participants in their fields of expertise. Leaders share business case studies and lessons from their career experiences that are directly applicable to the immersive group projects and the leadership development of students. Link to a list of speakers, workshop leaders and panelist on the Cochran Summer Economic Institute website.

For more information on The Powell Economic Education Foundation, the 2016 CSEI as well as the student application process and future involvement with the program as a sponsor or partner, please sign-up for our newsletter or reach out to CSEI Director, Trina Clemans.

Trina Clemans
CSEI Director, Collegiate School
(804) 512-1739


The Powell Economic Education Foundation funds the Cochrane Summer Economic Institute and is most grateful for the donations made by organizations and individuals in support of the 2016 CSEI, the twenty-five participating students and our not-for-profit partners from around metro Richmond:  

Association for Corporate Growth, Richmond Chapter


Davenport & Company



NewMarket Corporation


Mr. William R. Moore III, CFP

Mr. and Mrs. Dave and Judy Pahren in support of ChildSavers

Dr. Chester Sharps in support of World Pediatric Project