PS 42 Students Learn Basics Of Entrepreneurship
By Miriam Rosenberg
They are some of the youngest residents in Rockaway, yet they are already learning the ins and outs of running their own business. These are the students of PS/MS 42 who are taking part in NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) program.
"The students run a T-shirt business," said Queen Makkada, PS/MS 42's parents association president. "They earn $7 a week and charge $10 for the merchandise."
To help these future entrepreneurs, Councilman James Sanders Jr. - a graduate of PS/MS 42 - has arranged for a $10,000 grant, $1,000 of which goes to the Department of Education, with the remaining $9,000 going to the school program for the 2006-2007 academic year.
"I'm putting a lot of money into programs that teaches the people of the Rockaways to run a business, especially starting with the youth," said Sanders, who believes the way to compete in the 21st Century is to have an understanding of the business world. "I'm anxious to see these future scholars earn money and become CEO's and owners of business."
The $9,000 is split three ways - between training for teachers, purchasing supplies such as business informational materials, and activities or workshops for the students.
While the program came up $700 short to provide materials for making the T-shirts, the industrious students have come up with a way to raise the money - bake sales on Fridays.
"They are doing well," said Makkada. "They will make their goal."
She added that the "parent's association will be purchasing $300 worth of T-shirts to help the students reach that goal."
NFTE is a nonprofit organization run by The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship that was formed in 1987 as a way to educate low-income young people about entrepreneurship. It has programs in 28 states and 14 countries. More than 150,000 youth have taken part in NFTE since its inception.
Students are taught basic business concepts, negotiating and pricing techniques, and how to develop a business plan for their own business.
On its website, the founder of the program, Steve Mariotti has summed up the NFTE program in one sentence.
"Our program transforms street smarts into business smarts," Mariotti has said.