J.E.T Third Time Around
Interfaith Neighbors’ Junior Entrepreneur Training program (J.E.T.) returned for its third year this winter with 22 city students in sixth-to-eighth grade learning to work together to create and market a business.
This year the students from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, Sisters Academy, Hope Academy and Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, worked in three groups on Thursday afternoons from January to April to create their businesses. They chose to make customized sweatshirts, tee shirts and smart phone covers to sell at the Made in Monmouth Expo at Monmouth University. Price range: $10 to $15.
After creating their companies, they formed their business plans which they presented to local business experts to receive loans of approximately $200 in seed money for each group. Interfaith Neighbors funds the J.E.T. program each year.
That students pay back their loans out of profits they make each year at the expo. Part of the program is that they also share their profits with a favorite charity.
“This program is providing tools for our young people to have successful futures,” said Mychal Mills, who directs J.E.T. with Charles Simmons. “ I think it’s a well-rounded approach because it provides practical skills. They’re not just getting the knowledge. They’re getting experience.”
Four of the 22 students returned from last year and several students said they like being with other children their age from different schools in the city. It gives them a sense of diversity, they said.
“It’s all the different cultures,” said June Weedon, a sixth grader at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.
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