PowerPlay Program Inspires Local Young Entrepreneur
Written by Brooke Burke, Community Futures Revelstoke
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ainsley Renyard who is a bright creative grade 6 student at Columbia Park Elementary and her mom Crystal, to talk about the balloon business she had created after doing the PowerPlay program last school year.
Ainsley told me that she enjoys watching TV, fishing, skiing, doing anything with creative arts and baking. Her favourite recipes are lemon loaf and cheese buns. Sounds like the typical creative kid, or does she?
We then turned the conversation to the PowerPlay program she went through in her grade 5 class last year. She told me the program was fun and easy to follow, which made her learning about running a business even better. She told me her original business was creating squishy stress balls and bracelets, and she sold out but took orders to do up more! What dedication I thought to myself. I was shocked to find out the balloon business she currently does was not the idea she originally had for her project at school. However, after talking with her and learning how creative she really is…I wasn’t surprised.
Her mom told me how Ainsley was able to set up a table over the summer at the street market for no charge. Ainsley would happily go there every Saturday and make balloon creations for a donation to anyone who wanted them. We then chatted about how Ainsley donates all her proceeds to the food bank, as this is part of the teaching from the PowerPlay program, to give a percentage back to the community. I was pleasantly surprised to hear she was continuing to give back to the community, but she continues to give a percentage of her proceeds back. Crystal then told me the local grocery stores heard what Ainsley was doing and stepped up to match her donations dollar for dollar to the food bank. When I heard that I was blown away!
So, after being shocked by the generosity of this young lady I asked her if she has thought of her future. Thinking she is still in elementary school she wouldn’t have an answer, but again she surprised me and said she wants to continue with balloon creations and maybe open a dog kennel.
With her response it just goes to show us all, that entrepreneurs come in all ages. I confidently think Ainsley will be a huge success in whatever she decides to do, she has the determination and giving nature that true entrepreneurs have.
PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs is an educational program that helps students in grades 4 through 8 develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Students have fun gaining real-life career experience by exploring the world of business.
As they build their own independent business ventures, they set and achieve goals, acquire confidence and develop practical life skills. They put their plans into action at the Young Entrepreneur Show, a dynamic event where they interact with customers and earn money. By donating a portion of their profits to charity, they also discover the impact of giving.
Community Futures Revelstoke has been working with School District 19 since 2018 to help bring this outstanding program to all elementary schools that want to participate. To date we have helped bring this program to approximately 156 students in the Revelstoke area. Community Futures is passionate about working with entrepreneurs in our community, of all ages. This informative program helps to bring ‘real life’ experiences into the classroom and make it fun for the students to experience this. Staff are able to go into the classroom and offer loans($5 and up!) to students, if asked by the teacher, and speak with them about finances and what we do in the community. Students are very receptive of this type of interaction and always extremely excited to share their business idea and how they have gone about creating it. We are committed to the youth of our community and helping entrepreneurship grow even more!