Running a successful retail operation is not easy, but once staff and students took their retail project on, additional career building opportunities resulted for several A.E. Cross Junior High School students.

The Opportunities in Business program was launched at the school in 2015. The aim was to provide students in the Business 9 class with a chance to take part in entrepreneurial activities. By giving them the chance to run a store at the school, students would be able to learn: fundamentals of cash management and customer service; marketing and inventory management.  Alongside these tasks, they would develop their knowledge of career possibilities and learn career-applicable skills.

Funds from EducationMatters were used to cover a number of costs for the store including the purchase of start-up inventory, shelving and storage equipment, and various consumables. Open from October 2015 until the end of the school year in 2016, the program was a success.

Students had a lot of good things to say, including how they learned the importance of budgeting and the need for good presentation and customer service skills. One student was surprised by additional benefits of the course, “By being in this business class, I benefited by learning how to make my resume, which I plan to use when applying for a job this summer. Before taking this course, I had no idea how to apply for, or maintain, a job, and now after taking this class, I am confident in both.”

This grant was made possible by generous donors who supported the Public Education Enhancement Flow Thru Fund, the Southland Transportation Career Pathways Endowment Fund, and the Career Pathways Field of Interest Endowment Fund.