Entrepreneur class more than “pen and paper”

Lisa Goudy
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Walter Woodroffe-Brown, student president of the Prairie Potluck company at Peacock Collegiate, presents Carol Acton, executive director of Hunger in Moose Jaw, a cheque for $810.50 on behalf of the company on Jan. 23, 2014. (From left): Robert Rose, Amanda Bartell, Jenessa Korbo, Matt Emery, Shailynn Taylor, Adam Russell, Carson Ackerman, Tyler Hopkins and Zach Ransom.

Peacock Prairie Potluck company raises $1,500 for charity

If it weren’t for Peacock Collegiate’s Entrepreneur 30 class, the 10 students in the class wouldn’t have been friends.

“We were a group of kids who really wouldn’t have become close in another setting, but with this class you had no choice but to become close and rely on one another,” said Grade 12 student Shailynn Taylor. “I think that was really cool that such a different group of kids all pulled together to do something.”

“The only person I’d ever hung out with, been friends with before this class was Amanda (Bartell) and now I consider everybody in here a friend,” added fellow student Carson Ackerman.

Taylor and Ackerman are two of 10 students in the class who created their business to sell the Prairie Potluck Cookbook featuring 130 recipes. The class pitched their idea on Oct. 2 in a way modelled after Dragon’s Den on Oct. 2. All proceeds from the cookbook went to Hunger in Moose Jaw and Telemiracle.

A month after final sales wrapped, the company was able to raise $810.50 for Hunger in Moose Jaw and $719.17 for Telemiracle.

“They didn’t get equal amounts because lots of Moose Jaw people really felt strong about Hunger in Moose Jaw and wanted to give a donation for them,” said Taylor, co-president of the company. “That was something our company felt really strongly about is being able to give back to a local charity and a provincial charity.

“It made our hard work pay off when we were able to hand over the cheque.”

The company sold 643 cookbooks. The donation to Hunger in Moose Jaw will provide 810 lunches for kids in Moose Jaw.

Ackerman said without raising money for charities, the company “definitely wouldn’t have sold as many books.”

“A lot of people bought books just to be able to make a donation to the charity,” he said.

Through the experience, everyone learned about all aspects of business.

“Junior Achievement is a really great organization. They’ve supported us through it all and given us outlines of what to expect and what things need to be done,” said Taylor.

While the experience came with its fair share of challenges, including one member who left the company, everything came out on top.

“(There were) lots of highs and lows. It’s like a rollercoaster,” said co-president Walter Woodroffe-Brown. “I just hope the company next year can do something like this too.”

“It was still fun, even in the lows. You just have to focus on getting back up to the top,” added Taylor. “It’s been like a whirlwind experience, really … It teaches a lot more than a pen and paper class.”

Ackerman, the vice-president of finance for the company, said it was a “great experience.”

“In this semester, this was definitely the class I worked the hardest in, learned the most in. This class just teaches you life skills that you can’t learn in any other classroom,” he said. “I’d strongly recommend anybody to take this class.”

Bartell, company vice-president of human resource, said everyone learned how to work with different personalities and make the company work.

“You kind of had to get your little space bubble to do the best you could,” she said.

The company has 350 extra books that they didn’t have enough time to sell before the Dec. 20 cut-off date. Those are being donated to Hunger in Moose Jaw for them to either sell or give away to buy more lunches for kids.

Carol Acton, executive director of Hunger in Moose Jaw, said Hunger in Moose Jaw wouldn’t be able to provide the services it does without donations.

“They’re a great bunch of kids,” said Acton. “I’m always amazed at what people will do and how much they care.”

Teacher Tana Rowe said Thursday was the “accumulation of their hard work.”

“I think every teacher should have a chance to teach a class like this,” she said. “It was an awesome experience.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.


Organizations: Junior Achievement

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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