Jade Artzer is flying high this year, and not just as a Fort Hays State University cheer squad flyer, one who stands on the base's shoulders during routines.
A management major from Goodland, Artzer won a national competition during her first semester at FHSU last fall. She gets to pursue one of her passions, cheering at Tiger home football and basketball games. And she continues to hone her entrepreneurship skills in her residence hall.
Artzer lives in Hansen Hall, a scholarship residence hall for entrepreneurial-minded students. It didn’t take long for the girl from rural western Kansas to impress fellow residents in Hansen.
For one, word spread fast in Hansen Hall that Artzer started her own business, a bread-making craft, at age 11.
In a sound but difficult business decision, she sold her business, “Made by Jade,” to the Paisley Pear Wine Bar, Bistro and Market in Hays after she developed an allergy to flour in high school.
The money from that business, coupled with several local scholarships, earned Artzer enough funding to pay for her first year and a half of college.
Then she used the life skills learned early in life to stand out at a national collegiate convention last fall in Tampa, Fla. Artzer teamed up with Dr. David Snow, then the director of entrepreneurship at FHSU, to win top honors in a simulated competition. Their business about a bicycle company beat out heavyweights University of Florida and Texas Christian University, ranked as some of the top business and entrepreneurship programs in the country.
FHSU’s entrepreneurship program is part of the reason Artzer chose to attend college at her mother’s alma mater.
Artzer passed through Hays often while growing up and attended high school athletic events there but had never been on the FHSU campus until her college visit early in her senior year in high school. She knew immediately once she stepped on campus that she would attend college just a couple of hours from home.
“It felt right,” Artzer said. “This is the right place for me. Fort Hays State has definitely opened a lot of doors for me already.”
She welcomes the challenge of adding entrepreneurship activities – a requirement of Hansen Hall residents – to her busy class schedule and already has plans to remain in Hays and work on campus this summer.