Cochrane Summer Economic Institute

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The Cochrane Summer Economic Institute (CSEI) is a community outreach program administered by Collegiate School and funded by the Powell Economic Education Foundation.

Applications for the intensive four-week program are open to high school juniors who live in the footprint of the Capital Region Collaborative including the City of Richmond, the Town of Ashland, and the Counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Powhatan and New Kent. CSEI asks students to apply understandings in economics and entrepreneurship during the completion two challenges over the course of the four weeks.

By participating in two challenges during the course of the program participating students experience how team collaboration and creative problem solving result in design solutions that focus on people’s needs and drive growth for cities and businesses.


The Design Thinking Challenge

The Cities of the Future Challenge 

At the end of the program, Design Thinking Challenge teams deliver actionable insights and solutions to partner companies in a final pitch presentation of their concepts, share the story of their CSEI experience with community members as well as an infographic that reflects CSEI participants collective efforts to attract Millennials and Generation Z to each city in the City Indicator Challenge.

CSEI provides valuable skills necessary for a career in today’s commercial markets by exposing students to topics and projects in business disciplines including marketing, finance, product design, distribution, management, leadership, research and analytical competence. The program also focuses on developing skills essential for students to thrive in today’s world including collaboration, communication across difference, leadership development, independence, and public speaking

The program bears the name of Richmond area native J. Harwood Cochrane, who, with a single delivery truck, founded Overnite Transportation Co. in 1935 and built a trucking empire. His contributions to CSEI introduced the next generation of leaders to the fundamentals of economics and entrepreneurship.

2018 Participating Schools


  • Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology
  • Charles City High School
  • Church Hill Academy
  • Collegiate School
  • Henrico High School
  • Highland Springs High School
  • Maggie Walker Governor’s School
  • Mills E. Godwin High School
  • St. Catherine’s School
  • The Steward School
  • Trinity Episcopal