As a successful entrepreneur and inventor with limited formal education, Gil felt strongly about supporting those students who may not shine in an academic setting, but share his innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. Therefore, the Gil and Ann Hess Memorial Fund is primarily dedicated to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in Del Norte students.
Fund advisor, Kevin Hartwick remarked that, “Gil would talk about the fact that entrepreneurs perform differently as students and are inspired by different things. They fit a different set of rules that aren’t established and are often bored by traditional teaching methods.”
An example offered by Hartwick is, “In metal shop, some students may see a box as a task but an entrepreneur looks at the box and thinks of building a racecar. Gil knew that entrepreneurial students exist because he was one of them. His goal was to find them, include them in a process, fund their work and allow them to be successful. An adjustment to traditional methods of vocational education would be to ask students to make some-thing important. If it is important, they will want to learn how to do the math around it.”