ONLY ON CVP : The “Freedom Skater” came to Edgewater, as he begins a 3,000-mile trek across the U.S. carrying an American flag. Austin Szelkowski, who launched his journey from the Statue of Liberty on Labor Day, wants to “inspire countless students to pursue their dreams and live without fear.”
“I’m living the message,” he said.
Szelkowski said he got the idea on Memorial Day.
“I had potential and drive, but little more,” he writes on his Freedom Skater website, where he is blogging the skate.
“As a recent engineering grad from Kettering University, I had little money and more than my share of school loans,” Szelkowski writes.
“Working as a waiter at a local restaurant, I was trying to bring in some cash while spending the rest of my time hustling to build a business around my passion: empowering young people to pursue their own passions and blaze a trail toward the lives they envision for themselves.”
In order to do so, he had to push “further outside my comfort zone than ever before. I didn’t just carry my message or live my dream; I became them. I endured levels of doubt, fear, and uncertainty that I cannot begin to explain. It was only through sweat, blood, tears and the support of family, friends, and my business partner, Dillon Norton, that I stayed committed to my vision.
“My partner and I agreed: If necessary, we would hitchhike our way down to our starting point at the Statue of Liberty. We committed; I would begin the skate on Labor Day, no matter what. It wasn’t until exactly two weeks before the start of the skate that our faith was rewarded. We finally found a fellow visionary who had the funds available to support us.”
That would be Dan Hussain, president of American Pioneer Ventures .
In Szelkowski, APV — with offices in Manhattan, Pittsburgh, Denver, Tampa and Johnstown — has a rolling advertisement for its consulting business, which boasts of “providing early-stage startups and entrepreneurs with a suite of business services to help take great ideas and turn them into great companies.”Dan Hussain
“APV has a proven track record working with independent inventors, academic institutions (such as MIT and Penn State), government agencies (such as NASA and the Department of Energy), as well as public and private companies such as Siemens and Mainline,” Hussain wrote.
“We envision a powerful movement that will revitalize and remake the American economy by inspiring passionate young trailblazers and entrepreneurs….We talk about passion, courage, hustle, innovation, authenticity, entrepreneurship and shared vision.
“But, must of all, we talk about freedom. We believe true freedom will grow from grassroots, when the seeds of these ideas are planted in the hearts and minds of young people.”
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