Cul de Sac, St. Maarten – St. Maarten Academy’s academic campus kicked off its first ever ‘Entrep Friday’ last week as it gears up to develop business-minded students in a rapidly competitive and ever-changing world.
An initiative of Management, ‘Entrep Friday’ will take place the last Friday of each month and, in order to participate, all students must register their businesses with the Business Studies Department of the school.
Last Friday, Form 1 students Terry Jourdan, Kavitsha Karimullah, Mariam Chand, Kushaan Sharma, Shahd Ibrahim, Liz Peterson, Fidel Henry, and Shalev Tomlin had the student population fired up as they peddled merchandise such as medicinal herbs and other plants, handmade jewellery, origami bookmarkers, candy bags and ice pops, among other things.
After the event, students had to report how much profit was accrued. The student who made the most financial gains as well as those who were most creative will receive a prize at the general assembly next week.
Acting Principal Kim Lucas-Felix and acting Vice Principal Ms. Joanna Trim sold the idea of ‘Entrep Friday’ to head of Business Studies Department Ms. Maura Bute Urbain and her team – Ms. Adecia Rutherford and Mrs. Cameka Brown Henry-Ranger. The aim of the project is to help students develop business acumen and, given the current economic situation on the island, show them the connection between academics and the labour market.
Since all first form students have been introduced to Agricultural Science this year, their teacher, Ms. Patricia Mendonca collaborated with the Business Studies instructors so that the first form students who have already started a kitchen garden at home, can be given an opportunity to showcase and sell their produce. In the months to come, the students will be allowed to sell what they have grown at school.
English teacher Rochelle Ward, too, set up her booth and offered hair products for natural hair.
‘Entrep Friday’ is a part of the curriculum for the upper school students who are in the business stream, but all students at the Forms one and two levels can earn merits for their participation. These points will comprise one of their grades in Guidance and Mentoring.
Chand, who sold handmade jewellery, origami butterflies and bookmakers, said she was waiting for the event since orientation week when the announcement was made. Sharma, who brought a wide assortment of plants, already sees his future as a financial analyst.
Lucas-Felix thanks the Board of the Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (FAVE) for the vision in allowing the introduction of Agricultural Science this year, as she believes that Sint Maarten has to become less dependent on international markets for its food.
“We need to eat healthier foods and the only way we can do so is by producing our own. In order to do so, we must cultivate in our youth a mindset that this is possible and teach them that they can be book smart and dirt rich.”