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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 2 months ago

Horizon West Middle students showcase business ideas

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The Kid Entrepreneurship Showcase Monday, Nov. 18, gave students a chance to build confidence and experience.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

These Horizon West Hornets mean business.

Students at Horizon West Middle School were given a chance to show off their own ideas and boost their confidence at the Kid Entrepreneurship Showcase after school. 

About a dozen Hornets set up tables with their products on display for all to see.

It’s an event spearheaded by the school’s HOPE Club, which looks to promote volunteerism within the community. HOPE Club Adviser and PTSO Vice President Tamara Zotti said she wanted to showcase the talented students at Horizon West Middle School and give them a platform to share their special ideas. Many of the students at Horizon West Middle School came from Bridgewater Middle School, which had put on a similar event in the past, Zotti said.

“They had to make the items, they had to have a passion for something, they had to set a plan for how much they were going to charge for it, they had to come up with a design … so this is all their creativity,” Zotti said. “They all have their little things that they put together, and I think that what happens is it makes them realize you can do what you want to do. … They’re young now, and if they have this passion, I can only imagine what they’re going to do in the future.”

Horizon West Middle School Principal Michelle Thomas said the event is a great way for the students to get some experience and grow their expertise in a business area.

“We have a lot of talented students here,” Thomas said. “If this is what they dream — to become an entrepreneur — then I think it’s fabulous. It gives them an open door to do it at a different kind of level here and then hopefully broaden it later on.”

Zotti said she hopes to have another entrepreneurship event in the spring since word is still getting out.

 

SHOWING STYLE

Eighth grader Christopher Acevedo, 13, loves playing basketball — so much so that it’s inspired his own clothing brand, Buckets Wear.

“It all started in about sixth grade — I would just kind of draw it and I didn’t really take it serious,” Christopher said. “This year, I decided to actually think about it and I talked to my parents. … I obviously want to make my brand bigger and reach out to more people. I just want people to be able to express themselves through clothing.”

Christopher had some of his shirts for sale at the event. The clothing was made with the help of My Smart Shirts, which partners with SERV International to feed a hungry child with every shirt sold.

Christopher’s parents, Adam and Coppelia Acevedo, said they were excited to see their son get the experience of trying to sell his clothing.

“I love that it was at his school — that it was supporting local entrepreneurs,” Coppelia Acevedo said. “It builds the kids up and encourages them.” 

 

Emma Hendry’s sweets were ready to be sold.

SOME SWEET TREATS

Sixth grader Emma Hendry, 11, dreams of opening a pastry shop someday, and for a brief moment, that dream felt a little more real as she sold some sweet creations to students at the Kid Entrepreneurship Showcase under the name Emma’s Edibles.

Emma sold swirls meringue on a stick — or “meringue pops.”

“I watched a lot of shows on cooking and I saw that it looked really cool,” Emma said. “I was looking at it and we found recipes and we saw these and they seemed really cool.”

Emma’s mother, Rachel Hendry, said the experience was insightful, as the two of them discussed how much it costs to make each treat and therefore how much they should cost.

“It’s great — she’s told me she wants to be a pastry chef for a few years,” Rachel Hendry said. “It gives her a chance to put it into practice.”

 

Dhanya Rao sold her artwork and jewelry at the event.

CREATIVE AND  UP-AND-COMING

Sixth grader Dhanya Rao, 11, is always creating something, whether it’s a painting, a piece of jewelry or a photograph. Why not sell some creations for others to enjoy?

Dhanya had a couple of her paintings, a photograph and several necklaces, earrings and bracelets on display for sale.

“I started making small bracelets when I was 6 years old,” Dhanya said. “I sold them in a garage sale and then I got very interested in it. I started making other jewelry.”

Just this past year Dhanya began exploring painting as a new medium, with two of her pieces focusing on plants and flowers.

Working under the name Dhanya’s Arts and Crafts, Dhanya said she’d love to sell her creations on the side someday.

Tim Freed is the Managing Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

See All Articles by Tim

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