Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Making education his business

Cole Palmer attends LeadAmerica’s Conference on Business Innovation

By BRET MOSS Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program

Cole_Palmer DURANT, Okla. – Getting a head start on educational opportunities can be exciting. That was just the case for Cole Palmer, a 17-year-old junior at Durant High School, from Calera, Okla.

During the summer of 2013, Palmer had the pleasure of attending LeadAmerica’s Conference on Business Innovation at Stanford University. He was specially nominated for this 10-day program purposed to expand horizons of students with an aptitude for business. “It is a competitive selection process – they are picking someone who demonstrates strong leadership qualities,” stated Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program’s (SAP) College Prep Coordinator Stephanie Gardner.

“It was incredible,” Palmer stated as he reviewed his activities of the past summer. According to Palmer, the program focused on many aspects of business with an overarching project which divided the entire population into small teams.

These teams were charged with conceiving and developing a product for which they would build a business. Palmer’s squad made the decision to build a business around a bike helmet composed of eco-friendly and cost-efficient material deemed the “Green Dragon.” In this plan, Palmer was designated the VP of management and was required to plan the work involving employees and manufacturing locations for the mock company.

Palmer mentions that it taught him all the steps involved in creating a business, asserting that he can now see business models from a more complete view, identifying the inner-workings and the behind-the-scenes planning.

Along with Palmer were over 100 U.S. and international students from countries such as Japan and Russia. This added a great deal of cultural learning to the experience Palmer stated. He noted it was interesting to learn about the various ways those from other nationalities view business and how it shaped the overall project.

Along with the projects and new acquaintances, Palmer was also able to experience the campus life of a prestigious university, as well as the atmosphere of San Francisco. His group visited a large local flea market where they interviewed small business owners and discovered first-hand the work involved in starting a small business.

Upon his return from the summer expedition, Palmer received a letter from Envision, the program responsible for the LeadAmerica conference, stating that he had been invited to the 2014 Global Young Leaders Conference.

Palmer plans to attend this conference, learning leadership skills on a global scale. He will be traversing Europe, absorbing lessons from leaders in a multitude of countries. Notable locations such as Prague, Berlin and Vienna are on the 13-day itinerary, which begins June 29, 2014.

Choctaw Nation SAP is proud to recognize Palmer’s accomplishments as he primes his resume for college. He mentions that he plans to attend a university with a distinguished business program upon graduation in 2015.

To prepare for his graduation, Palmer has taken part in SAP’s ACT test prep and has been able to have his testing fees paid by SAP. “By providing testing assistance, SAP hopes to grant our members a strong advantage in the collegiate application process. We are glad to see Cole take advantage of this asset,” stated Gardner.

If you would like to learn more about the Envision program, visit their website at For information on more college prep services, visit SAP’s website at and follow on social media.