FULTON, Mo. – The Missouri AfterSchool Network is the Platinum Sponsor of University of Missouri Extension’s 2024 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference, Sept. 17-19 in Fulton.

The CEC Conference brings together innovators, leaders and game-changers from across the state to explore strategies for fostering entrepreneurship in rural communities, said Annette Kendall, chair of the MU Extension CEC state team.

As the Platinum Sponsor, MASN will play a pivotal role in shaping the conference’s focus on youth entrepreneurship and community development, Kendall said.

 “The support from Missouri AfterSchool Network underscores the importance of fostering youth entrepreneurship in rural communities,” she said.

Key highlights of MASN’s sponsorship:

MASN will collaborate with the MU Extension CEC state team to identify a keynote speaker for one of the mainstage sessions. The chosen speaker will spotlight the importance of youth ecosystem development and support for local communities.

MASN will present two breakout sessions in the Youth Entrepreneurship Track, focusing on panel discussions featuring leaders engaged in successful youth entrepreneurship initiatives across the state and content aimed at supporting youth entrepreneurship educators.

In alignment with MASN’s commitment to youth entrepreneurship, the conference will feature a Youth Marketplace, allowing young entrepreneurs to showcase their ventures. MASN will work closely with the local Fulton team to coordinate the participation of these budding entrepreneurs.

“At MASN, we believe in the power of youth entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and community development,” said Terri Foulkes, executive director of Missouri AfterSchool Network. “This sponsorship aligns perfectly with our mission to empower young innovators and create pathways for success.”

The CEC conference also offers Gold and Silver level sponsorships, providing organizations with opportunities to support and engage with the rural entrepreneurial community. Gold sponsors have the chance to sponsor breakout sessions and feature prominently in conference programming, while Silver sponsors will contribute to a scholarship fund to support nominated attendees with registration and travel costs.

For more information about the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference and sponsorship opportunities, visit

About Missouri AfterSchool Network

MASN is a statewide network dedicated to promoting and supporting quality after-school programs for all Missouri children and youth. MASN advocates for after-school programs that provide safe, enriching, and engaging activities outside of school hours, fostering academic success, social-emotional development and career readiness. For more information, visit

For media inquiries or interview requests, contact Annette Kendall, CEC state team chair, at