Steamboat Springs college student selected for entrepreneurial enterprise |

Steamboat Springs college student selected for entrepreneurial enterprise

Colorado State University sophomore John Vande Velde is spending his summer painting houses as part of an internship program. Vande Velde is hoping to raise money to pay for school next semester and to gain experience in a business that he hopes will pay off long after his school days are done.
John F. Russell

— After his freshman year of college at Colorado State University, Steamboat Springs High School graduate John Vande Velde has done what many have not: become his own boss.

Young Entrepreneurs Across America Student Painters, a company focused on developing entrepreneurs and preparing students for future career paths, selected Vande Velde to start and manage his own painting business in Steamboat Springs.

Enticed by the prospect of being his own boss and the support and challenges that the program provides, Vande Velde was excited but nervous to join Student Painters.

“I liked the challenge that the program offered and wanted to see how I would do,” Vande Velde said.

One of only 13 students in the Northwest Division to be chosen from hundreds of applicants, Vande Velde has spent the past few months learning how to run a business. After an extensive application and training process, he has been immersed in making sure his business runs smoothly and successfully and completing extensive training in business management.

As a local branch manager, Vande Velde oversees employees, customer estimates, marketing, payroll and each job they land.

Student Painters’ goal is to provide daily learning through actual experience. Entrepreneurialism, the core of the program, is based on the concepts of risk and reward and the fact that a skill is best acquired through actions.

“Experience is really building my resume through my running a business as a college student. I feel like it puts me ahead,” said Vande Velde, “Hardly any college students can say that they’ve managed their own business.”

Vande Velde’s goals as a manager are to run a $60,000 business and provide quality service for customers. He plans to use the summer’s profits to help pay tuition and room and board at CSU, where he is pursuing a major in construction management.

Student Painters focuses on exteriors of houses with services including painting, staining and power washing. For more information, contact Vande Velde at 970-819-6754 or

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