Valley Professionals Helping Future Entrepreneurs

October 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
When it comes to starting your own business, age is no longer a barrier ... thanks in great part to the internet. Young entrepreneurs are now the norm ... and at one Valley high school students are learning business skills from the pros.In Mrs. Zody's Yearbook and Marketing class at Fresno High School a local businessman Doug Betts takes over as guest instructor once a week.

Betts, who owns a computer service and repair business ... volunteers with Junior Achievement, a nonprofit organization that teaches students financial literacy, work readiness skills and entrepreneurship.

"I hear them talk about their ambitions and their dreams, it really gives me a much brighter perspective on the future," said Betts.

The goal is to get students thinking about their future, and begin using the talents, skills and interests that they have right now.

Laura McGrew with Junior Achievement said, "Businesses are going to be opened not just by 40 and 50 year olds but why not by a 20 year old who has a passion for something."

By the end of the seven-week program, students will learn how to market and sell a product or service, and even put together a business plan ... skills, that may one day help student George Rodriguez open his own car shop.

Rodriguez said, "You might want to open up your own business, this teaches you about like-- what you need to do so you don't go into it blind; you have something you can put in your pocket and pull out later."

"When I was in high school I had ambitions to start a business but I had no focus along these lines-- If I'd had this kind of focus back then, I'd might have done much better," said Betts.

Teacher Delaine Zody believes the volunteers bring a real-world perspective into her classroom that can even add a bit more credibility to what kids are learning.

"They don't always believe what is going on in school is real-- and so when we can bring somebody from the real world who says 'what you're learning applies here', then it makes it more meaningful," said Zody.

Junior Achievement offers traditional and after school programs in over 350 classrooms in the Fresno area ... and serve more than 73-hundred students.



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