A class that teaches entrepreneurship, leadership, creativity and making an impact; that’s Intro to Business. Senior Zoe Vanleeuwen had no idea what she signed up for when she chose to take Intro to Business after noticing she had a missing first hour.
“When I talked to others who took the class before, they said they just had to do a business plan,” Zoe said. “So when I heard we had to actually start a business, I was shocked.”
After the initial surprise, Zoe learned to enjoy the class. The class is unique; it engages students in “real-world” work.
“My favorite part of the class is that it is more hands-on and not book work,” Zoe said.
The hands-on work that Zoe refers to is starting and managing a business. The business project started with students hurdling into groups and brainstorming. Zoe’s group talked about multiple ideas before junior Hayley Gorski mentioned the idea of mental health.
“In our group, we figured that everyone knows at least one person who has struggled with a mental health issue,” Zoe said. ” We want to spread awareness about mental health because mental health is just as important or even more important than physical health.”
And thus, It Matters was born. The It Matters team then decided what product they would like to make, and they settled on the production of T-shirts. A portion of the profits will be donated to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, which is an organization that gives grants towards scientific research of mental illness.
The It Matters team is hard at work managing their business by themselves. Normally, each group has someone in charge of leadership, marketing, finance, sales, and supply chain. The It Matters team works in a “roundtable” way, with everyone pitching in where needed. The team will be releasing the T-Shirts soon, and they will be sold at all three lunches for fifteen dollars.
“We do have Junior Achievement, our helper Kelly, and Mr. Lowe offering advice on what to do,” Zoe said. “But, for the most part, it is up to us to run the business, and there are a lot of roadblocks along the way. So it is hard to find ways around those at times.”