9/7/17 A Busy Week for $tart-Up!
What a week! Not only did classes launch at both Eanes Elementary and Dittmar Rec Center, but $tart-Up! was a special guest at Fran Harris' DivaCon AND featured on the local NPR. Each day truly was an incredible experience all in its own.
Both locations not only filled to capacity, but were bristling over with eager kids! Students enrolled ranged from as young as five---to as old as fifteen. Since launching, the mixed age approach was one I full-heartily cherished, but was curious how the students would take to sharing a space with kids much older or younger than they were. It went off without a hitch! At Dittmar, some of the older kids (ten and over) were a little taken back at first, but when I explained that it was going to be just like the working world, people are rarely your age, they relaxed. Entrepreneurship is really such a personal journey, by week three, I'm willing to bet they don't even notice. :)
It was inspiring to see students arrive with such enthusiasm and drive; many showed with ideas and goals already in mind. Class started with an icebreaker! We discussed the importance of introductions and leaving an impression. Each student had 3-5 slips of paper and were tasked to develop their own business cards in roughly five minutes. Nothing fancy, a name.. and whatever decorations you wanted to add in the time you had. First, I modeled what it as like to met someone and gave "talking" point examples, and then explained they would have 30 seconds to find someone, introduce themselves, and exchange business cards. By the end of the game they should have ALL new business cards and learned something new about their fellow club members. See pictures below!
After the icebreaker, we discussed what it meant to be an entrepreneur. Students documented what characteristics they hoped to embody, as well as acknowledged how sometimes entrepreneurship can be hard and trying. Seeing some of the students response melted my heart. Some of the kinder kids who couldn't write drew pictures; my favorite, a brain pointing to a lightbulb, while others (without prompting mind you) wrote works like ingenuitive, passion, plan, determination.
We explored student passions and things they enjoyed and discussed what possibilities might be in store. $tart-Up! Kid's started listing possible ideas, anything, everything. Big, small, it didn't matter.
Lastly, $tart-Up! kids had the opportunity to hear from live long entrepreneur, Kurt West with American Dream Vacations, Austin. He pulled out a box he has kept since childhood, with ideas dating back to when he was five. He explained to them the importance of finding something they were enthusiastic about and sticking with it. He noted how grit, perseverance, and failure are critical components to achieving success in not only business, but life. After sharing some of his childhood ideas, some of which included: a couch with a refrigerator built in, a grocery store that delivers, and a pizza burger, one EE $tart-Up! kid mentioned, if Kurt would have done a program like this when he was a kid---he would be rich like the guy who owns Instacart!
Thank you, Kurt for coming out and sharing your lifelong curiosity with us. If you would like more information about Kurt and his business you can visit: www.americandreamvacation.net or call at 512-294-2634.
Next week we will take our idea and really dive into it. Metacognition at its finest!
Until then $tart-Up! Kids, stay curious.