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Rio Salado College Student Realizes Princess Dreams Through Entrepreneurship

photo of Rio Salado College student Olivia Vella text: Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week November 8-14

Rio Salado College Student Realizes Princess Dreams Through Entrepreneurship

In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), Nov. 8-14, 2021, Rio Salado College encourages all budding entrepreneurs to follow their dreams!

GEW is an international initiative that introduces entrepreneurship to young people worldwide. It celebrates entrepreneurs, exposes people to the path of entrepreneurship, and helps them access the resources they need to succeed.

If you have an idea for a business, but don’t know how to get started, Rio Salado can help.

The college offers two certificates in Entrepreneurial Studies and two certificates in Small Business Management.

The programs are designed to give entrepreneurs a solid foundation for launching a startup.

High school student Olivia Vella recently made her business dream a reality.

The senior at Heritage Academy Gateway in Queen Creek, AZ, informally started Magic Moments AZ, a company that provides entertainment for children’s parties, in November 2020.

“I have always loved performing and knew that I wanted to use my talents to serve my community,” Vella said. “I have had the pleasure of working with youth many times, and I wanted to start a company with a main focus of bringing joy to their lives.”

In the spring of 2021, Vella learned about a scholarship opportunity that helped Magic Moments AZ come to fruition.

Through her high school’s partnership with Rio Salado College, Vella enrolled in dual enrollment classes, earning both college and high school credit.

She was one of six Maricopa Community College students to receive a scholarship through the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and its partnership with the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund (EEVF). Vella's scholarship was matched by our friends and generous donors at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

The scholarship was created to help student-entrepreneurs with their startups. It consisted of $2,500 in funding and a full year of mentoring.

“The NACCE scholarship made my dreams come true,” Vella said. “With the support of Dr. Lily Davidov (Rio Salado’s Faculty Chair for Accounting, Small Business, and Insurance Studies), I was able to jumpstart my business and make it a professional organization. The program offered me wisdom, opportunities, mentorship sessions, and kindness. This scholarship has changed my life and will allow me to change the lives of others.”

Learn more about how to get started as an entrepreneur at Rio Salado College.

Note:  NACCE/EVVF and other scholarships are available for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022! If you are a Rio Salado student entrepreneur with a promising start-up, please contact

By Mira Radovich, Senior Contributing Writer

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