Thursday Thoughts: High School Entrepreneurship in a Small Town

Yesterday I completed my annual volunteer teaching of Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana’s seventh grade program. It is six weeks in length and I enjoy going to our local middle school each year to present it.

One of the members of my church, who works for a locally owned manufacturing company that does business in Asia and Europe, came and did a great presentation on what his company does and the importance of good math, people, and communication skills. It was a vivid reminder to me that the marketplace is truly a global village these days.

But I also brought a treat, the picture of which appears at the beginning of this post. You may have noticed that it was made by students of East Noble High School. That is our local high school and it has a wonderful program called Career Pathways in which, according to our local paper, The News-Sun, “links high school course work and careers.”

One of the career pathways is called the business and information pathway and this past February, again according to the newspaper article, students began “experimenting with ice cream flavors” as part of their course work. The result, as you already know, was a product that our local ice cream maker, Atz Ice Cream, produced and is now available at our local Walmart as well as other locations.

Here is, I believe, most of the productive development team


I shared this treat with the seventh grade class and pointed out to them, that developing business skills is something that can take place now and not just later on. And I know that this is a common theme with teachers these days in many places regarding not just business skills per se, but work skills and habits as well as a strategic knowledge base vital to meaningful employment.

Fourteen flavors were submitted for use and the winning flavor, “Sweet Tooth” was actually a home made recipe for a special family desert with one of the students and the name was chosen by another student member. They are now involved in marketing the product.

I was very impressed with the product and so were those seventh graders! (Much to the frustration of some family members, I left the remainder with the Middle School Staff for their enjoyment!)

I am so very pleased to share this story because it reinforces my view that giving high school and I think even middle school students the opportunity to develop vital entrepreneurial skills now is a vital part of a community’s economic life and health, especially in rural and small town America.

Good job East Noble Knights!

These are my Thursday Thoughts

(Special thanks to the Kendallville News Sun for the use of the photo and an electronic copy of the article to quote from.)

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