The Shoemaker Scholars program brings together 10 Indiana University Bloomington students from a variety of academic disciplines. They encourage other students to explore their own entrepreneurial and innovative interests, and they oversee the StartupIU website that connects students with university-based startups. John and Donna Shoemaker funded the program, which awards annual scholarships to its members. Travis J. Brown launched and directs the program.
Natalia Galá, a junior from Anaheim, California, majors in special education and general education in the School of Education. This will be her first semester as a Shoemaker scholar. Natalia was kind enough to answer questions for the Crimson Catalyst.
Crimson Catalyst: How did you learn about the Shoemaker Scholars program?
Natalia Galá: I initially learned about this program thanks to my friend Richard Xu, an alumnus from the Kelley School of Business and Jacobs School of Music. He is a previous Shoemaker scholar who achieved a lot, and I hope to follow his footsteps.
CC: What impact do Shoemaker scholars have?
NG: The biggest impact that the Shoemaker Scholar program has is that it helps students who have entrepreneurial goals to have access to the full resources they need. It also helps students tackle any inconveniences they might experience along the way.
CC: What is a common misconception students have about entrepreneurship and innovation?
NG: One common misconception is that those words are exclusive to just people in the Kelley School of Business and the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. A person with any major can have entrepreneurial goals. It isn’t strictly business- or technology-related majors who are innovative.
CC: How do you share insights with others, as an ambassador?
NG: I share different resources that I have been able to have access to. I also make sure that people know that the other Shoemaker scholars and I can help them pursue their entrepreneurial goals.
CC: What are your own entrepreneurial endeavors?
NG: Beyond being a Shoemaker scholar, I love working with kids. I have a passion for helping others. I hope that in the future I am able to open schools in poor Latin American countries to help students who do not get the same chances as kids in the United States.
CC: What do you enjoy most about being a Shoemaker scholar?
NG: I enjoy being a part of a group of students who have different goals but are trying to positively change the world. I enjoy hearing the different ideas that each individual has.
More information about the Shoemaker Scholars program is available at the following websites: