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Teaching Business Lessons and Life Lessons By Helping Others

What happens when you empower kids with the idea they can help others?

That was the questions posed to the students at STAR academy in San Rafael, California. The 6th and 7th grade students were tasked with the idea of how to show support to a 3rd grade student they didn’t even know named Max.

Through lessons about kindness and entrepreneurship, students brainstormed different business they could launch to raise funds for Max and his ongoing cancer treatments.

“To help with our project I was selling drinks such as ice tea, apple juice, lemonade, and sparkling water,” said student Felix. 

Jonathan used his artistic talents to create unique gifts to sell.

“To help with our project I spent my time folding origami. We sold ninja stars, double ninja stars, fortunes, and last, but not least, dinosaurs.”

Through various, student led business ideas, these middle school students were able to raise $1,100 that they donated directly to Max’s GiveForward page to help offset medical expenses for Max and his family.

Devon, a student at STAR academy found running a business fun and rewarding.

“To help with our project I made jewelry and friendship braces. I donated books, old costumes, and video games. At the sale I spent my time at the jewelry both and waving a sign at the cars that said ‘yard sale.’ The whole thing was so fun.”

Sam, recruited the help of The Impossible Project for his business idea. He took photos of people in costumes.

“It was also one of the most popular booths at the fundraiser. To operate the booth, I got a firm known as The Impossible Project to donate some instant film to the event. As part of the donation deal, I had to pose the customers in front of a sign marked ‘Made impossible by The Impossible Project’.” 

Student in Berrian Elementary School in St. Quincy, IL also wanted to show Max some support. For months Elementary students left Max daily hugs, or notes of encouragement, on his page.

The students, some as young as Kindergarten, took time to introduce themselves and relate to Max.

“My name is Morgan. I am in first grade at Berrian School. I have an older brother that had cancer by his eye. He got really sick but he’s doing fine now and is cancer free. I hope you feel better and may the FORCE BE WITH YOU! wrote one student.

Other’s shared their love of Star Wars and legos with Max.

My name is Dalton. and i too like Star Wars and legos. With my legos i like to build space ships and other things. What kinds of things do you like to build? My favorite character on Star Wars is the Bounty Hunter, becasue i like his cool guns. Do you have a favorite Star Wars person. i hope that you start to feel better soo and maybe someday if i am ever in Texas we could meet and build stuff with our legos together. Your friend Dalton”

In total, Berrian Elementary students left Max with more than 150 notes of encouragement- and countless smiles.

With the help and guidance from teachers and parents, students from across the country learned not only how to help Max, but how to empathize with and support others.  For many of the students, helping others was a lesson in empowering themselves and reminded them of important life lessons.

Kasyden, a first grader at Berrian, provide up great advice for anyone.

“Dear Max, I am sorry that you are sick. Remember that you are great. Remember to be nice to everyone, they will be nice back. So I am sending you lots of smiles and I hope you are sending lots back. I am praying for you.”

Check out more photos of STAR Academy student’s business ventures:

Whose world will you change?