Smitha Middle School Students Explore Launching Businesses

Students at Smitha Middle School recently took an eight-week educational journey to learn about creating a business. 

Guest speakers from Wells Fargo spoke to the business class students every week, providing tips on how to become entrepreneurs. The Smitha business class also partnered with Operation Hope to provide the students with the support and business role models to succeed. 

After weeks of preparation, the Smitha teachers then gave the students the opportunity to exercise their business skills with the school’s version of Shark Tank.  

Thanks to community support, there was a $2,500 donation to help motivate the students participating in the Shark Tank.  

The students had to compose a business pitch, a PowerPoint/Website showcasing their business, and pass a preliminary round to enter the final “Shark Tank” round. School staff, Cobb Schools Title I supervisors, and Operation Hope managers served as the judges. Out of about 40 teams, 12 teams went to the finals. The top five won a $500 grant to start their business. Those students will also have a business mentor who will help guide them as they work through the steps to turn their business idea into a reality.  

Smitha plans to continue the partnership with Wells Fargo and Operation Hope to help more students realize their potential as business entrepreneurs.  

Smitha Winning Student Businesses: 

  • C & C Lids (Customizable Trash can lids)—Hugo Cordova & Jaydon Cannaday 
  • Nail Art (Customizable nail service for teens/women) –Mireydi Rodas & McKenzie Jones 
  • The Starz Apparel (Repurposing clothes and design team) –Drexley Arriola-Rojas, Kevin Gonzalez, Jacob Perez, & Daniel Vazquez 
  • Help Others Inc (Cleaning, Grocery and errand services)—Bara Fall & Emmanuel Howard 
  • DRIP (Recyclable chargeable batteries for phones) –Israel Diaz & Ralph Philogene