As Lemonade Day approaches, members of Startup Aggieland are embracing the opportunity to give back to the youth of this community and the mission of Lemonade Day. Students in Startup Aggieland – Texas A&M University’s business accelerator, managed by Assistant Director Don Lewis with the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School – are helping local children prepare for the seventh annual Lemonade Day in Bryan-College Station, set for May 1.
In 2007, Lemonade Day founder Michael Hothouse had a vision to empower youth and teach them about business in a way they could understand – a lemonade stand. While running their own stand, the foremost objective of this program is to demonstrate the value of setting goals, developing a plan and giving back to the community as young entrepreneurs.
As a part of the BrightMinds Foundation in College Station, this event has had success in bringing the community together and spreading the mission and spirit of Lemonade Day. For every child who participates in the event, there is a mentor to support and encourage them through their experience.
Freshman mentors from the Startup Living Learning Community (Startup LLC) were given the opportunity to assist the Boys & Girls Club during Lemonade Day. These students live on campus in the “Dormcubator” and explore entrepreneurship in a Management 289 course taught by Mays Lecturer Shelly Brenckman, who is marketing coordinator at Startup Aggieland. Brenckman’s students act as a support team to encourage grade-school children during Lemonade Day and spend time teaching them about entrepreneurship leading up to the event.
Startup member Clare Fuller, a freshman, commented on the experience thus far and said, “I’m very excited to work with the children and help them understand the value of becoming an entrepreneur.”
Lemonade Day is inspiring not only the minds of youth, but also everyone who is involved with it. Startup freshman Maris Moreno said that, “Lemonade Day will be one of the most rewarding experiences for me through Startup Aggieland thus far. Just working with the kids showed me how much potential they have and how much we can really push them to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.”
Students from Startup Aggieland and Entrepreneurship Society, both powered by CNVE, began their four-part mentorship training in March in preparation for the big day on May 1.“The group we are working with is known as the ‘torch club,’ and it consists of a select group of students that have exhibited leadership, good behavior and outstanding potential,” Moreno said.
According to Startup Aggieland student worker Tara Schickedanz, one of the students involved in the mentoring program, “Volunteering for Lemonade Day taught me a lot about how our society is striving to make our world a better place. It encourages children to be entrepreneurs and I was given the chance to help make that happen.”
In addition to the students’ involvement with the Boys & Girls Club mentor program, Startup Aggieland has also invested their efforts throughout multiple events leading up to Lemonade Day. One of these events includes backpacking stuffing. For every child who registers, there has been a volunteer who puts together a backpack full of resources for the big day. These resources included a 14-lesson Entrepreneur Workbook that teaches the kids all about creating budgets, customer relations, repaying investors and more.
- By Rachel Bush ’17