JS FBLA celebrates American Enterprise Week
JERSEY SHORE — American Enterprise Week was founded in the late 1970s by President Jimmy Carter and is still being celebrated today. This year it was celebrated from Nov. 11 to the 15, with American Enterprise Day at the end of the week on Friday the 15th.
The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) spent the week educating students about the American Enterprise System and how it affects the business world around them. At Jersey Shore Area Senior High School, it was a busy week spent trying to teach as many people as possible about business and the system that impacts their lives daily even if they don’t always recognize it.
On Monday, Nov. 11, a full FBLA meeting was held for all members in grades 9-12.
One FBLA member, Wyatt Buss, invited three small business owners to the meeting to talk to students about owning a business. One of the business owners, Rachael Fravel, works at a local printing shop. This is a small business in Jersey Shore that is well known and family owned.
She told students that if they decide to run their own business in the future they need to always remember that networking is the most important thing to do to expand a small business. She stressed that word of mouth has kept her customers loyal for years.
She told students that social media is also important for keeping up with the times and drawing in new customers, which is always the goal of a small business.
The second business owner, Mrs. Michelle Persun, runs an online bakery. She makes cupcakes, cookies, cakes, fondant pieces, and more. She makes requested pieces such as personalized cupcakes along with popular favorites that are advertised on her website.
Her biggest piece of advice to students was that time is money. She told students to always remember to balance a family and a work life. Because this is her “side hustle” she has to take away from her family time to run this bakery.
She told the FBLA members that in business you have to make sacrifices but to remember that time is just as valuable as money. She also told students that if they are considering opening a business after graduation, make sure that it is something that they love and will enjoy doing every day because that makes work fun. She encouraged students to pursue their passions and take risks in the business world.
The final business owner, Mr. Matthew Hensler, is a photographer for local real estate agents. He take pictures of local high-scale houses that are being put on the market.
His best piece of advice was to always be nice to everyone no matter what. He also said that being known as a responsible person is the best advertisement for your work, especially as a freelance photographer. People will want to hire someone who they have heard is responsible and on time and professional over someone they have not heard anything about.
He told students that as a teacher and a business owner, responsibility is the most important quality he strives to impart on students.
All three of these business owners taught the FBLA members valuable lessons that they will be able to carry with them after graduation as they consider their future options in the business world. The students were taught valuable lessons by these adults, but they were also educated by elementary school kids in the same week.
Three FBLA members visited the Jersey Shore Elementary School life skills class.
Mrs. Jodi Woleslagle’s class runs a successful coffee cart from their room. They take orders from teachers the day before the cart opens, fill them the next morning, and deliver them in teams to the teachers.
They taught the high school students all about their operation including how they budget, the system they use to make sure all the orders are accounted for and filled correctly, and how they choose a seasonal flavor such as peppermint or pumpkin spice. All of the students were very passionate about their businesses and were excited to tell the “big kids” all about it.
In return, the high school students led a team building exercise to teach the elementary students that teamwork makes the dream work in a business.
Four students had to work together to use a rubber band to stack plastic cups on top of each other and then take them down the same way. The elementary class loved the activity and encouraged each other the entire time. They cheered their classmates on and picked them back up if they became discouraged.
After this activity the elementary students talked to the high school kids about what they want to be when they graduate high school. All of the students were very excited to share with everyone. They colored a picture of themselves doing what they think they’d do when they’re at work.
The high school students visited with each of the elementary kids and spent one-on-one time talking to them about their future plans. Both the elementary and high school students were excited to spend the time together learning about business and the future.
American Enterprise Week is a big week for Jersey Shore FBLA at the high school. Students from the high school to the elementary school level were educated about business from a wide variety of people of all ages and situations in life.
FBLA always strives to educate all students about business, part of which is the facets of the American Enterprise System that affect them in their daily lives.
To learn more about Future Business Leaders of America and how the organization enriches the education of high school students, please visit www.pafbla.org and www.fbla-pbl.org.