Students at Evart High School learn the business trade

EVART — Anyone interested in a custom-made shirt, a handmade decorative wreath or homemade soap, can stop by Evart High School, where students are creating and running their own businesses.

Two years ago, Evart High School began offering an entrepreneur class as an elective. Jay Wallace, instructor of the class, was one of a few educators in the school trained to teach the class.

“One of our staff members learned about the class and sparked an interest in the value of it and how well it connected the community to the school,” Wallace said.

Students in the class are given an assignment to create and successfully run a “mini-business.”

“All of the students create a business, have to learn the process behind it and how to successfully run it,” Wallace said. “That includes sales, creating products and learning how to make a profit.”

The students begin with a business idea, and from there have to create the products with donated materials, materials they borrowed and must pay for once they made a profit, or materials they purchased on their own.

Once they have their product made, their goal is to sell it and make a profit.

“I know that not all of my students will one day own a business,” Wallace said. “But the class will help them become better employees.”

The students have been working with the Evart Chamber of Commerce for donated material and education.

“The chamber is investing in us and providing us material because they want these students here in the community creating businesses,” Wallace said.

Jacob Martin and Corey McElroy, students in the entrepreneur class, teamed up together to create a business where they make and sell custom shirts and stickers.

“The class is a lot of fun,” said Martin. “It teaches us how to be successful.”

The boys became interested in their business idea after learning how to create custom shirts. They bought their materials and used what was provided by the school to create and sell their shirts.

“We are learning how to manage our money and the value of working for it,” Martin said.

Alexis Todd and Alexis Creedon made and sold homemade soap.

“We used olive oil, coconut oil, lye and essential oils, and heated it in a Crock-Pot for an hour,” Creedon said. “Then we cut it up and package it.”

Wallace would love to see each of his students work in the community of Evart one day, because he has seen their efforts and products.

“I don’t mean to be selfish, but I don’t want to lose the best and the brightest students from the community,” Wallace said.