The Entrepreneurial Adventure by Clare Grosskleg

As a first-time business partner with the Entrepreneurial Adventure Program, Learning Partnership, it was my good fortune to be paired with the grade 8 class at Castlefrank Elementary School in Kanata.

The class chose Hopewell as the organization that held meaning and relevance for them. As young teens, the pressure of body image is typically prevalent and can be challenging at times. The genius of this class was to merge the self-esteem theme that we are all valued for who we are regardless of size, shape, colour, talent, etc. (consistent with Hopewell messaging) into a fundraising fashion show. And so, on April 14, 2011 the Beauty is… Fashion Show was delivered to a sold-out, wildly-cheering audience.

Throughout this adventure, I saw these grade 8 students visibly change from enthusiastic individual contributors to a cohesive, focused and highly driven team. Not only did the team “knock it out of the park”, but also showed great leadership in building self-esteem and awareness of their cause of choice for themselves and others within the school and among family and friends. They created their plan and executed flawlessly to produce inspiring results. Just about $3000 was donated to Hopewell.

Here are some of the things that I witnessed: I saw the marketing team working on the hallway floor to produce posters; I saw the sales team brainstorming how they could enhance sales like adding a silent auction or guess the number of jelly beans in the jar; I saw a Hopewell recipient providing craft donations and sale proceeds; I saw the production team calculating runway space; I saw decorative butterflies from the Hopewell logo fill the gym; I saw students with different backgrounds, sizes, capabilities, etc. walk the runway; I saw students hold the hands of younger school children to show them the way; I saw and heard a cheering audience that wouldn’t be still; I heard carefully selected music that supported the self-esteem theme; I saw commitment from these amazing teachers to integrate lessons learned and to participate fully.

I am wholly confident that the members of this graduating class have significantly enhanced their capabilities, gained a huge sense of accomplishment and left a memorable legacy for the school and all those participating in this adventure. Congratulations to each of the students in Mrs. Robertson and Ms. Hyde’s 2011 graduating grade 8 class! I am so proud to have been a part of this adventure, but mostly I am proud of each of you. Bravo!