Shelby Povtakcomes from a working class family that puts great value on education, self-reliance, and community service. Povtak was selected for the USF Provost’s Scholars program and also lived in the Bulls Business Community her freshman year. She says that these and other opportunities that USF has provided have given her the opportunity to discover what she loves, what she is good at, and how she can contribute to the community.
Balancing multiple part-time jobs, playing competitive soccer, and achieving honor roll throughout high school, Povtak quickly learned that at the core of every successful team and business is a great leader. Her soccer coach once told her to always play for the girl next to you, no matter how exhausted you are. Carrying this lesson into her business career, Povtak was motivated to continue to do her best. She strives to persevere for the benefit of others as she learned early on that people go further when working together.
As co-founder of Tampa Tableaux, a non-profit that gives local dancers and the community the ability to connect and choreograph site-specific productions for film, Povtak and her partner won an Excellence in Undergraduate Research award from the Research and Arts Colloquium at USF . They also pitched their social entrepreneurship idea to a panel of professionals and won membership to the Student Innovation Incubator. There, Povtak was able to learn how to turn an idea into a business and how having a mentally tough can-do attitude can allow one to accomplish anything.