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Falcon Bluffs entrepreneurship class lends a helping hand

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By Deborah Swearingen

Stepping inside John Trujillo’s entrepreneurship class at Falcon Bluffs Middle School is akin to walking in the front door of a small business.

There are students calculating costs; others woodworking in the classroom wood shop; and still more packaging products. The class, now in its fourth year at Falcon Bluffs, is a real lesson in business, philanthropy and entrepreneurship, and its impact is not overlooked by students.

“When I was younger, I didn’t know what I wanted to be but just knew I wanted to be successful,” said student Cade Oldershaw, 14. “I think that this class kind of gave us a head start on what we can do to be successful.”

Each year, students come up with an idea for a product and then create, market and sell it. This year’s class chose to make a phone holder and an entryway organizer to hold keys and other items. The students later chose to customize the products in order to sell more. All proceeds from their sales go to Make-A-Wish Colorado to help sponsor wishes for kids.

While much of the class is dedicated to learning about business, including supply and demand, profit, sales and inventory, Trujillo said his students learn much more than that.

“The benefit (of the entrepreneurship class) is helping someone they don’t know, taking leadership roles, understanding how to problem solve and working through a situation,” he said.

“They actually all contribute in different ways to be able to make our business successful,” Trujillo added.

After interviewing with Falcon Bluffs staff, students in the entrepreneurship class were placed into the marketing, public relations, manufacturing or accounting department based on their skills.

Throughout the semester, they worked on resumes with students from Chatfield Senior High School’s business class and learned about sales techniques. Additionally, they made brochures, flyers and a website, and conducted a market survey.

But through all of that, the donation to Make-A-Wish is what pushed most of the students to sell, sell, sell. When Make-A-Wish Colorado visited, the students learned their donation would go to help a young girl who suffers from seizures.

“That was a big push for me to sell things,” said Olivia Robillard, 14. “Not only to make money for her but just like to help her feel happiness.”

Cade agreed, saying it was a huge motivation to know their money would directly benefit someone in need.

“There’s people that have it worse than us, and we have an opportunity to make their lives better,” he said.