The students in Mr. Amengor’s class at Homestead Senior High School are printing designs on shirts.
The teenagers aren't art students, but business students in what they call "Entrepreneurship Academy." The kids will be selling the shirts they make, making the class a study in learning the business of starting a business.
“Tell me what you learned so far since we started this class,” Culham Amengor asked his students.
“It’s not easy getting your business out there,” one of the students said.
It’s not just about learning how to print a T-shirt. The purpose of the class is to teach skills that would help these students in any business they ever go into.
“What I’m trying to do as principal is to bring in vocational programs here at Homestead Senior High School and wrap them around the umbrella of entrepreneurship,” Principal Guillermo Muñoz said. “We don’t simply want to teach our students vocational skills. We want to give the skills that will allow them to gain gainful employment in the real world but with the goal in mind of, within five to seven years, becoming business owners themselves.”
The class gets the kids thinking about all the different aspects of creating and running a business.
“If basketball doesn’t work out for me I could start my own business,” said Winston Charles, a point guard on the school’s basketball team and a student in the class.
Students get the chance to speak with an expert that shows them the ropes -- in this case Eddy Barea, owner of Ibiley Uniforms. Barea, who donated the machine and supplies for the class, gave the students marketing tips.
His message to the class was not to approach life as employees, but to know they can become the employers. Barea said to succeed in business, each one of the students needed to have one key quality.
“The drive," Barea said. "You need to be interested in what you do, you need to learn, and you need to not only try, you need to do it."
His message is sinking in already.
“Work hard, because if you work hard in life you’ll be able to get to a place you never thought you’d get to before,” said Arlene Scott-Volony, a student in the Entrepreneurship Academy.
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