South Gwinnett students create winning business plan

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

South Gwinnett High School's DECA Club and the Upsilon Alpha Omega Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority formed a winning partnership in the sorority's Youth Business Plan Competition.

The Reflections Bakery and Catering business plan, developed by the South Gwinnett DECA Club, emerged as the winner of the South Atlantic Region competition. Students completed all components of the business plan and were engaged in the opportunity to display their talents -- solidifying the execution of their knowledge of business planning, development and ownership.

The plan was based on a retail bakery concept revolving around the recipes and cooking abilities of Darneshila Ingram.

Reflections Bakery and Catering was developed as a two-tier business, focusing on retail production and sales, which will also serve as the base for offsite catering services. The catering services are proposed to target both the corporate and wedding markets.

The participants proposed that their business would be an independently owned business designed to fulfill the local and regional demands for baked dessert goods for immediate consumption, home, food service and off-premise event markets.

Designed to support the development of youth entrepreneurs and to provide youth with the tools and services to develop viable businesses, the competition represented the culmination of work with black youth by Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters in conducting research, compiling information, writing business plans, and preparing professional business presentations for potential funding sources and/or investors.

Students submitting the winning plan include Ingram, Chesley Taylor, Blair Gorham, Kelsey Dunbar and Tenijah Hamilton. Scott Allen serves as the DECA Club's teacher sponsor.

The students will be honored as the sorority kicks off its annual South Atlantic Regional Conference with a public meeting at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta.

Kathy Jackson serves as president of Upsilon Alpha Omega Chapter, while Sarah Lewis serves as vice president and program chairman. Spearheaded by CaSandra Smith, chapter members devoted many hours to working with the teen participants and their sponsor on the fundamentals of planning a business, implementing activities to allow the participants to test their business ideas and providing the participants the opportunity to present their business plans to potential financial supporters.

'Little Kids Rock' in Gwinnett schools with addition of instruments

Gwinnett County Public Schools students at five elementary schools now have access to an additional tool to enrich their learning -- acoustic guitars.

Their teachers participated in the "Little Kids Rock" Workshop, a training session where they learned music education teaching strategies. They also received the instruments, a teacher's manual, software, and other school supplies for their students.

The participating teachers from Gwinnett were Beth Bryant of Corley Elementary, Kristin Gwaltney of Lilburn Elementary, Julie Hall of Lilburn Elementary, Jaime Krauss of Meadowcreek Elementary, Jeff Peterson of Mountain Park Elementary, Merle Soodyall of Stripling Elementary and Mike Urbanik of Meadowcreek Elementary, fifth grade.

Each Gwinnett music teacher received 30 guitars, while the other educators received 10. The schools were able to participate in this program thanks in part to a "Little Kids Rock" $100,000 grant from the Quincy Jones Foundation, and a second donation from the Dr. Phil Foundation.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.