On the morning of Friday, September 24, four students from Lighthouse Christian Academy in Dawson County started a brand new business at their school: a breakfast booth to raise funds for a junior / senior trip to Washington DC
High school student Daniel Wilson, one of four students involved in the project, said the idea first occurred to him and his friends as they tried to find a way to raise funds for the school’s very first high school trip.
“We’ve never had a senior trip,” Wilson said. “So we were sort of sitting there one day and Mr. Moye was talking about fundraising for a senior citizen trip, so we were trying to think about how to raise it. We were all hungry at that time for breakfast so we figured if we set up a breakfast stand to raise money for this trip for juniors and seniors.
Wilson and his group surveyed students at their school and found that less than half of students eat breakfast before school starts in the morning. Because of this, Wilson said they decided that starting the breakfast stand would be a win-win.
“We thought it was perfect,” Wilson said. “We can feed the children and raise money for this trip. This is the school’s first trip to somewhere outside of Georgia.
Wilson, along with high school students Alex Diemer and Kayden Arp and junior Alyssa Freeman, met with a local CPA for advice on how to start the business. They made a formal presentation with details of the potential business to the CPA, who decided to become an investor by helping to start the breakfast stand.
Soon after, they were successful in winning over another local investor, who offered to guarantee free breakfast for all students and staff on the first day of the breakfast stand opening.
Wilson said he and his group went to a local Kroger to buy food for the first day and met with the store manager to see if they could help the project in any way.
“We went to Kroger and talked to the manager there and he gave us Kroger gift cards, so we were able to buy just about everything here with those,” Wilson said. “So it’s our first day of doing it, and it’s a lot of trying to get everything ready, but we’re excited and I think it’s going to be good.”
Wilson said he and his group would operate the breakfast stand, which they named “The Breakfast Bros.” Mondays and Fridays, and if that goes well, they will consider expanding it to include more days each week.
Dewey Moye, director of Lighthouse Christian Academy, said encouraging students to pursue a project like the breakfast stand is a big part of the learning process at school.
“As the principal of the school, I support this project-based app and the whole idea of it; it’s awesome, ”Moye said. “It’s exciting for me to see the kids progress – for me I think that’s part of education, is that you learn in the classroom, but you have to apply what you learn.”
Moye said that while learning about business, accounting and entrepreneurship in a classroom setting is valuable, learning by doing is arguably even more valuable in many ways.
“I would love to see every class come up with a project, even up to kindergarten, because it teaches them how the free enterprise system works and how capitalism works,” Moye said. “It’s pretty neat in the sense that it’s about entrepreneurship. They meet with investors, which is good to learn more about how this system works, and it also creates a work ethic, which is really needed in this country.
Following the breakfast rush on the first day of activity, the students said they learned a lot on their inaugural day at the breakfast stand.
“We underestimated the power of the little ones – the donuts will go up, the chocolate milk will go up, and everyone’s been asking for muffins, so we’ll have to have muffins,” Wilson said. “But we’re looking to figure out what will work, what won’t work, figure out our cart setup, our line setup and everything in between. ”
Freeman added that providing breakfast for his fellow students is rewarding in itself.
“It was cool to see how happy they were when they got their donuts, so it was really awesome,” Freeman said.
Wilson said he and his classmates learned a lot about all aspects of running a business throughout the process of starting the breakfast stand.
“We’ve definitely learned to present better – public speaking – we’re probably all a lot more comfortable having introduced to three different people in three different ways,” Wilson said. “And we’ve kind of learned how business is done. ”