On the morning of Friday, Sept. 24, four students at Lighthouse Christian Academy in Dawson County started a brand new business at their school: a breakfast stand aimed at raising money for a junior/senior trip to Washington D.C.
High school senior Daniel Wilson, one of the four students involved in the project, said that the idea first came to him and his friends when they were trying to think of a way to fundraise for the school’s first ever senior trip.
“We’ve never had a senior trip,” Wilson said. “So, we were kind of sitting there one day and Mr. Moye was talking about fundraising a senior trip, so we were trying to think of how to fundraise it. We were all hungry at the time for breakfast, so we came up with what if we create a breakfast stand to raise money for that trip for both juniors and seniors.”
Wilson and his group took a poll of the student body at their school and determined that less than half of the students eat breakfast before school starts in the morning. Because of this, Wilson said that they decided that starting the breakfast stand would be a win-win.
“We thought that was perfect,” Wilson said. “We can feed kids and fundraise for this trip. It’s this school’s first trip to somewhere outside of Georgia.”
Wilson, along with high school seniors Alex Diemer and Kayden Arp and junior Alyssa Freeman, met with a local CPA for advice on how to start the business. They gave a formal presentation with details on the prospective business to the CPA, who decided to become an investor in helping to start up the breakfast stand.
Soon after, they managed to gain another local investor, who offered to underwrite free breakfast for all the students and staff on the first day of the breakfast stand being open.
Wilson said he and his group went to the local Kroger to purchase food for the first day, and met with the store manager there to see if they could help with the project in any way.
“We went to Kroger and talked to the manager there and he gave us Kroger gift cards, so we were pretty much able to buy everything here with those,” Wilson said. “So, this is our first day of doing it, and it’s a lot of trying to get everything ready, but we’re excited and I think it’s gonna be good.”
Wilson said that he and his group will operate the breakfast stand, which they named “The Breakfast Bros”. on Mondays and Fridays, and if it goes over well, they will consider expanding it to include more days each week.
Dewey Moye, principal of Lighthouse Christian Academy, said encouraging students to pursue a project like the breakfast stand is a big part of the learning process at the school.
“As the principal of the school, I support this project-based application and the whole idea of it; this is great,” Moye said. “It’s exciting to me seeing kids step up — to me, I think that’s part of education is you learn in the classroom but you gotta apply what you learn.”
Moye said while learning about business, accounting and entrepreneurship in a classroom is valuable, learning by experience is arguably even more valuable in many respects.
“I’d like to see every classroom come up with a project, even down to kindergarten, because it teaches them how the free enterprise system works and how capitalism works,” Moye said. “It’s pretty neat in the sense that it’s about entrepreneurship. They’re meeting with investors, which is good to learn about how that system works, and it also creates work ethic, which is really needed in this country.”
Following the breakfast rush of the first day of business, the students said they learned a lot during their inaugural day of the breakfast stand.
“We underestimated the power of the littler kids — donuts are gonna go up, chocolate milk is gonna go up, and everybody asked for muffins so we’re gonna have to get muffins,” Wilson said. “But we’re figuring out what’s going to work, what’s not going to work, figuring out our cart setup and our line setup and everything.”
Freeman added that providing breakfast to their fellow students is rewarding in and of itself.
“It was cool to see how happy they got when they got their donuts, so that was really awesome,” Freeman said
Wilson said he and his classmates have learned a lot about all aspects of running a business throughout the process of starting up the breakfast stand.
“We definitely learned how to present better — public speaking — we’re probably all a lot more comfortable after presenting to three different people in three different ways,” Wilson said. “And we’ve kind of learned how the business ways go.”