Student Entrepreneurship Includes Commitment to Philanthropy

Members of the Entrepreneur Club at Sonoma Country Day School (SCDS) are committed to helping others while developing financial literacy, creativity, and leadership skills. Students in grades 5-8, led by Math teacher Christy Harper, run the student store, keeping track of inventory, ordering supplies, and managing the books, among other tasks.

They also organize a semi-annual after-school Entrepreneur Fair, widely attended by the school community, where students in all grades sell a range of creative kid-crafted merchandise, products, and services ranging from candy and baked goods to handcrafts and holiday décor.

Contribution has long been a tenet of the school’s mission and guiding principles, and philanthropy plays a significant role in the Fair. Participants must return 25% of their earnings to the club, which researches nonprofits and then selects where to send proceeds. Last fall’s event resulted in a $1,400 donation to United Cerebral Palsy. This spring’s profits will go to causes related to the service learning projects of several eighth graders who formally applied to the club for consideration. Bruno Coelho decided to work with Enable, an organization that provides 3D-printed prosthetic hands to children around the world. Taking the entrepreneurial spirit one step further, he partnered with the Entrepreneur Club to sell 3D-printed classroom items at the student store; proceeds will go to fund his work with the SCDS Enable Club. “It’s a great example of a win-win endeavor for our entrepreneurs and our community,” says Ms. Harper.

“The Entrepreneur Club is important to me,” says one fifth grader, “because I want to help people when I grow up. I’m going to run my own business and make sure that my business helps others.”

Does your school do something similar?

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