by Henry Cullum Students in the Intro to Entrepreneurship class in collaboration with the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at West Grand High School started painting and renovating a old printer room at West Grand to a functioning mini cafe.
In the market, they sell different kinds of drinks from basic coffee, tea, chai, hot cocoa to espresso, cappucino, steamers, and flavored lattes. Snacks are also available. The money they earn directly goes back into the program.
Araceli Miranda a senior at West Grand who helps operate the business says, “I believe the Mustang Market is a step in the right direction for West Grand.”
Mrs. Jennifer Hooks who intructs the Entrepreneurship class and is the director of the FBLA program at West Grand commented, “The mission of the Mustang Market is to spread joy, supply goods, and save money for our students.”
However, staff is also appreciative of the on-site location for their caffeine fix in the morning which saves time and money. In addition, teachers appreciate how the market is student driven and students are vested in the process.
Under the leadership of Superintendent Darrin Peppard, the school district has increased their focus on project based learning. In Intro to Entrepreneurship, Mrs. Hooks’ class tackled the hard question of how they could provide a sustainable business for the school or the community that provided a needed service. They decided on a snack and coffee shop.
West Grand senior, Giselle Garcia explained the class had to create the space, paint, decorate and get machinery.
Mrs. Hooks commented, “The biggest thing I think my entrepreneurship students will take from the Mustang Market is the difficulty of writing a business plan and that even when you have a set plan things are always changing in the world of business.”
Student Giselle Garcia admitted the class initially struggled with the business plan, but Mrs. Hooks encouraged them to continue saying it would be worth it, “and it was it,” Garcia said smilingly.
Mrs. Hooks continued, “I hope they [students] will become comfortable with inventory control, human resource management and scheduling, as well as financial statements.” Mrs. Hooks concluded, “We will most definitely be continuing the Mustang Market after this school year. With each new group of students I’m sure the market will change over time, but my hope is to keep it alive for many years to come.”