More than a monetary reward
Yogurt Beach franchise owner Richard Wenschlag presented the Douglas High School Jobs for America’s Graduates program a $500 check recently for its fundraising project.
Rick McGuire, JAG program specialist and instructor, wanted to teach his students about rejection in business and how to move forward despite it.
He teamed up with Wenschlag and they decided to give the students the opportunity to sell $10 Yogurt Beach Gift cards. Students received 30 percent of profits from each card sold.
McGuire said the motto for JAG is to commit to an organization and something bigger themselves. That was the main goal he advocated the students to remember during their fundraising project.
“It wasn’t about the money,” said McGuire. “It was the opportunity and the process I wanted them to have and experience.”
McGuire asked Wenschlag to teach the students about business aspects and challenges including profit, how to communicate with customers and how to take rejection.
“The main point we wanted to get across to them is to never take ‘no’ as a stopping point,” said Wenschlag. “When it comes to sales, there’s going to be times when that no makes you feel defeated, but it’s actually an opportunity for the next ‘yes.’”
The fundraiser lasted two weeks, said McGuire. In that time students took the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and come up with a new plan during times of rejection.
Sophomore Connor Hightower said the opportunity taught him a lot about not giving up on a goal.
“There were a lot of rejections from people who just didn’t have the time to listen or were not interested, but I knew I had a good reason to keep trying and perform my best to raise the funds,” he said.
For sophomore Jennifer Dietsch, the fundraiser brought her out of her comfort zone and taught her the value of money and patience.
“Though a lot of people said ‘no’ the perseverance to keep going helped,” said Dietsch. “Through my efforts, I was able to help the program and it gave me some experience for what I may face in the future.”
Senior Michelle Hawkins said the fundraiser gave the students the opportunity to explain what the JAG program is all about and increase interest and awareness in the program.
JAG is a program that teaches life skills including how to tie a tie, talk to an employer and interview skills through team-building exercises, impromptu, public speaking and other activities.
“The real key was the students and giving them something they can walk away with. The money was secondary,” said Wenschlag.