Indian Springs Middle School students are all about business plans at summer camp

Prairie View A&M University-Cooperative Extension Program and NeighborWork’s Project ASPIRE partnered to sponsor a week-long summer camp in McLennan County. For a second year the organizations worked together to provide the financial literacy camp geared toward students from a limited resource community in East Waco. This year ten students from Indian Springs Middle School attended the camp and received information from the several guest speakers and tours as they prepared their main camp objective: to develop a business plan for the Shark Tank-themed presentation at the end of the week.

Project Aspire-Kids and Shark Tanks JudgesCampers divided into three groups and were directed to create a business plan on anything the group desired. Every day they received new information that could be used towards their business plan. Midway through the camp, students met at Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce for a tour and received feedback on their business plans from a Small Business Development Center representative.

Other local organizations such as McLennan County’s Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Mars, Incorporated and Waco-McLennan Health District visited the camp and presented information on minorities in upper-level manufacturing industry positions, consumer decision making, career and lifestyle choices and healthy options. Additionally, Cooperative Extension Program’s 4-H Specialist, Dr. Joice Jefferies travelled from Prairie View A&M University to discuss entrepreneurship and money management. Campers also toured McLennan Community College’s main campus and First National Bank of Central Texas where they were able to touch one million dollars.

At the conclusion of the camp, each group presented their business plan to in a Shark-Tank inspired judging panel. Business plans were for funding to create a clear computer, a cake place modeled on a pay-per-ounce model and a mobile fashion application. Even after a Q&A from the judges, who were NeighborWork’s of Waco management team, it was decided that all three business plans would be sufficient enough to finance. As a result, all campers received $50 stipend from First National Bank of Central Texas.



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