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Early Educational Experience Shaped Philadelphia CSO's Career

Small business is an important part of the local community. According to the Small Business Development Center, there are over 100,000 small businesses operating in Philadelphia that employ over 60,000 people. Your life's calling can sometimes be found at a young age. Zach Stone, Philadelphia co-founder of Red Kite Project, did just that when he found his calling at age 14.

(Photo Courtesy of Zack Stone)

What are your duties as a business manager?

"I am the co-founder, chief strategy officer and a lead consultant at RKP. It is my job to create long and short range vision for the growth of all three divisions of Red Kite Project. I also facilitate workshops, lead consulting sessions, and hold one-on-one coaching."

What education have you received?

"I received degrees and certifications from the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), an amazing school which I can't say enough good things about, and Drexel University, which is without a doubt, the best behavioral degree one can receive at an undergraduate level. I specialized in behavioral wellness early in my career and I am currently a cohort student in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program run by CCP in collaboration with Babson College."

How has education prepared you for your career?

"I was originally certified in group facilitation and violence prevention at a very young age by the American Friends Service Committee. I was 14 years old and I didn't know it at the time, but that educational experience would shape the rest of my life. I loved group facilitation so much that I pursued a degree in behavioral health counseling. The Drexel Behavioral Health Faculty head, Dr. Ron Comer, saw how passionate I was about behavioral change while I was a student there that he brought me on board as a staff member."

What continuing education is required for your role?

"As someone working to define the field of 'resiliency building,' I am considering a masters or PhD in psychology or wellness.However, I am enthralled by organizational dynamics and development, and have considered an innovative MBA program. I work full-time to build my company with an extremely talented team of individuals, and finding time to go back to school is difficult. The current education I am receiving from Goldman Sachs through its accelerated experiential process has given me the skill set to take the passion I have for my field, and translate it into real growth opportunities."  

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at

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