Students putting entrepreneur skills to the test
TOPPENISH, Wash. -- Over 100 middle school students throughout the valley were in the classroom this week, learning business skills from Heritage University students.
The program is called Camp S.E.E.D. which stands for social, economic and environmental development. Camp Director Melissa Gomez said these kids are learning things like how to handle money.
"We teach them about financial literacy and especially business planning," Gomez said. "So we try to get them involved and exposed to money management."
The students put their marketing and sales skills to the test on Thursday and tried to sell products they made such as paintings, plants and food. Gomez said they even get to keep a portion of the money they earn.
"We teach them early on to work for what they want," she said. "I've been telling them all week you got to work for it, you know you got to advertise you got to put in the time so when it's your market day you feel rewarded and you get to take home more money."
This is the fifth year for the camp and it's coming full-circle, students who participated in the camp in the past are now coming back as mentors.
Grandview High School student Agustin Cortes is a mentor this year and said the camp opened his eyes to how things work financially and he hopes these children are picking up the same skills.
"They learn about budgeting, how to write checks, how to do financial work and doing that as a student actually really did help me for my future," Cortes said. "It actually helped me see my education differently and see what my parents go through to raise me."
Cortes said many of the kids at the camp are surprised at some of the things they learn such as just how much they'd have to pay in taxes. He said this is a chance for these students to get a glimpse at how the real world works.
Heritage University is hosting another two week session of Camp S.E.E.D. starting on Monday. It is free and open to all incoming 6th through 8th graders. To register you can call Dioselina Verduzco with Heritage University at 509-865-0419.