These career experience provide a glimpse into the fascinating and inspirational world that is Benjamin Franklin Experience. (And these are just a handful of the many we provide.) Each day is led by an expert in their profession. Fields include STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), arts, journalism, law, medicine, and more. One day we work with an environmental scientist in a mountain stream; the next, we may be cutting a music track for a TV show.

Greenville HealthCare Simulation Center creates an intense, day-long experience for Benjamin Franklin Experience students to provide them with a glimpse into the fast-paced world of emergency medicine. Read more.

Fabricating light fixtures and installing them on a $200 million construction site introduces students to the many roles and professions required to create the infrastructure we all rely on. Learn about the dynamism of the construction industry.

Composer, Cale Pellick, writes music for television shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and the NFL. Cale flies from New Orleans to guide students through the creation of compelling, original songs. Listen to them here.

Fluvial Geomorphology

(Environmental Science)

Fluvial geomorphology is the science of understanding rivers and how they change as a result of natural and man-made influences. In this experience, students compare the health of two streams by cataloging the macroinvertebrates living in each. Learn more about this fascinating day.

Guided by expert photojournalists from the Greenville News, students use professional camera kits to create news coverage that captures a day in the life in Greenville, South Carolina. Learn more about this incredible experience.

Thrive Upstate works to improve the lives of those with special needs. In this wonderful experience, students develop empathy for those that are differently-abled, learn about the realities of their daily lives, and explore career options in this rewarding field.

Ryan Beck is a former linguist and Army interrogator who continues to apply his knowledge of kinesics—the study of body movements, gestures, facial expressions as a means of communication—to the world of business. Learn more about the importance of these skills.

Students are guided by co-instructors—Jess Dennis, who has been both a technical writer/designer and editor during her 20-year communications career, and Bo Bryan, an award-winning Southern writer and novelist/poet—through a series of writing exercises to discover their natural talents.

Students enter the world of improv comedy and learn how to think on their feet, speak in front of others, and be generous in conversation. Read more about the hilarious experience that takes everyone out of their comfort zones, and opens their hearts and minds to new experiences both inside and outside the theatre.

Greenbrier Farms specializes in USDA Certified organic produce, and pastured/grass-fed meats. It is the go-to venue for farm weddings and rustic events in the Upstate. Read more about how Greenbrier shows students the A-Z process of growing, raising, and cooking organic food.

2020 Summer Schedule


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Class Headquarters

101 North Main Street
Suite 300
Greenville, SC 29601

NEXT on Main is located in the heart of downtown Greenville’s Main Street, overlooking ONE City Plaza. The 20,000 square foot space creates a home in Greenville’s Central Business District for entrepreneurs to cultivate and grow their businesses into world-class operations.

* 3rd floor, directly above iStore and Methodical Coffee

Field Trips

All field trips depart from class headquarters. Transportation to and from field trips and headquarters is provided. Many are walking field trips. (Assistance in getting from home to class headquarters and back each day may be available for eligible students.)

Who Can Apply?

Benjamin Franklin Experience is open to ALL teenagers, ages 14 – 18 who are highly-motivated and demonstrate their desire to take a bite out of life. Learn more about our application process here.

Who You Will Meet

  • Guest-Instructors

    Every class is led by a different Guest-Instructor. These are experts in their field who immerse students in their career for a day via hands-on experiences and guided field trips. Each class is crafted by the Guest-Instructor and BFE directors to introduce students to worlds previously unknown to them, and open their eyes to new possible futures.

  • Program Instructors

    Two Program Instructors attend each class to offer continuous guidance, prepare students for field trips, handle logistics, and encourage focused reflection at the end of each class. They sharpen students’ writing skills with thoughtful assignments, and the exploration of interests and future passions.

  • Visiting-Mentors

    Visiting-Mentors attend select classes alongside students. They are high-performing professionals from a variety of fields, interested in sharing their career stories with students and participating in class experiences. Students may be paired with visiting-mentors based on interests expressed in their program application, which could include former Olympians, CEO’s, venture capitalists, restaurant owners, architects, and more.

  • Other Motivated Students

    Students accepted into BFE are highly motivated with a desire to develop friendships with other young emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds and interests.

Your Program Director

Jonathan Shanin is the founder of Benjamin Franklin Experience. Jonathan has excelled in many careers, including naval architecture, online marketing, and philanthropy. He brings a long history in photography, storytelling, and filmmaking to students, with past projects including mini-documentary production for the United States Embassy Association related to the need for increased medical care in the Amazon rainforest.  Jonathan is a former member of the U.S. National Team in kayaking.