A new after-school program at Hayward Middle School in Springfield, Ohio, will continue next semester and might expand next year, according to Springfield Christian Youth Ministries Executive Director Faith Bosland.
"Biz Ba$ics" is a program to teach seventh-grade students the importance of entrepreneurial skills and is a joint effort between Cedarville University, Southgate Baptist Church, Springfield Christian Youth Ministries and Hayward.
"We believe the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our community, and kids have a lot of great ideas. They just need to have the opportunity and support," Bosland said.
"I decided to join the club because I thought that when I get older and want to have my own business, it will help me," said Hayward student Quentaysia Smith.
Smith was the group's leading salesperson for its project this semester. Her group of 16 sold more than 500 baked goods for a Springfield business, Susan's County Cupboard.
"It feels good because I accomplished something," Smith said.
Her efforts earned her $63.
Rodrigo Aviles made $26 and said it gave him a sense of pride.
The group meets at Southgate on Monday nights. The middle school students are taught how to start a small business by Cedarville business students.
"I like them a lot. They are cool and really helpful," Smith said. "I learned not to spend your money at one time."
The students teach how to budget and other life skills.
Cedarville Associate Professor of Finance Jeff Guernsey said his students are benefiting from the relationship as well.
"When you need to explain it to someone else that is another level of learning," Guernsey said.
There is little curriculum to follow due to the lack of groups like this, so the program's leaders are creating their own curriculum, Bosland said. She hopes to see more life skills incorporated into the teachings next semester.
She also said the program was so well receivedthat the 16 students will continue it next semester. She hopes they can continue it into their eighth-grade year and have a new batch of seventh-graders join the program.
Thirty students applied for the program at the start of the year and after interviews, 20 were selected. Students have to keep a 2.0 GPA and have good attendance to stay in the program.
She said now that the program is in its second semester, the plan is for the group to sell one of its own products in the community.
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