2012-06-22 / Community

St. Edmund’s Kids Learn Fundamental Values


Students and instructors joined Habitat for Humanity in Newark, New Jersey where students helped reframe windows, worked with cement and participated in the demolition of the basement to a building. Students and instructors joined Habitat for Humanity in Newark, New Jersey where students helped reframe windows, worked with cement and participated in the demolition of the basement to a building. St. Edmund Preparatory High School students who are enrolled in College Marketing, a St. John’s University College Advantage Course, learn the fundamentals of marketing and get the opportunity to put it into practice.

The students form a company to bring a real product of their choice to market. Students are hired into positions in one of the following departments: Business, Finance and Accounting, Communications, Human Resource Management and Service. They must then plan a service project to use the income earned for the benefit of others. The course has a three-fold purpose, and the students’ company, service and classwork must accentuate all three: academics (their obligation as students in a college-level business course) altruism (their charity) atmosphere (their product and service project must foster positive school spirit)

In addition to the project, the course is rigorous as they study marketing concepts and techniques, and read advanced articles from journals such as “Harvard Business Review” to learn the material, as well as prepare themselves to think innovatively about the project opportunity in front of them.

Throughout the semester, they perform various tasks to integrate the academic business curriculum into the Practical Company Project, aided by technological tools, their colleagues and the instructors.

To finance their operations, each company must prepare a detailed loan proposal to the Board of Stakeholders (Principal, AP, Development Director, etc.) The school can either choose to fund their startup enterprise, or not.

The course emphasizes group work, and the daily routine of working with others in a collaborative, business setting. The student-employees in each department do all the work for the company and service project, so that they truly own their own success. The instructors do not speak to the vendors, do not advocate to the Board on behalf of their loan, nor do they interface with the charity until the day of the project.

This year’s companies are the eighth and ninth student-companies to complete the project. The two products this year were a SEP hoodie, and a package deal of SEP sweatpants and SEP Tshirt.

Both companies sold out of all units, were able to repay their loan to SEP, and maximized their profits for their charity. Both companies did well enough to donate to their chosen charities: one netted more than $1,000 which was given to St. Joachim and Anne Nursing Home and the other company netted more than $2,000 which was donated to Habitat for Humanity.

After the service project was complete and paid-for, both companies chose to donate the remainder of their profits to the SEP fund in memory of Jose Rodriguez.

This year for the first time the instructors, Mark Amatrucola and Colin Pinnavaia, decided to team-teach. According to Amatrucola, “This resulted in a varied experience for the students, while also allowing us to give each company increased personal attention. Moreover, our own specialized skill sets (accounting and graphic design) were able to more directly assist each department.”

Nikki Palermo, a senior at St. Edmund Preparatory High School, said, “The reason why I feel this class is excellent is because you get involved with an experience that shows you the reality of the business world, the related technological tools, and the responsibilities of holding a job while doing something good for people in need.”

Some of the past products developed were pen-bracelets, “TOP TEN” T-shirts related to the school, “Got Eagles” Tshirt, “Edmund Eagle” designer shirt and a silicone bracelet.

Other charitable projects included throwing a “Senior Prom” at St. Joachim and Anne Nursing Home with a Luau theme, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, American Diabetes Association, Little Flower Family and Children’s Services, Hour Children, and HeartShare Special Needs School.

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