The summer gives middle and high school students a break from education. However, for a handful of students in West Columbia, they are learning how to become entrepreneurs.
"I just got my first check today,” says Brooke Farris, a rising 6th grader. "I just earned $14."
Farris just sold a couple of bottles of hand soap to a friend.
"We gave her a discount, and I just got my first check."
Not only did she make the sale, but she also made the product. It's part of the Scooter Scott Project, which helps middle and high school students earn a little cash for scholarships.
"It teaches them about life skills, how to run a business, what it takes,” says Jeff Jones, director of the Scooter Scott Project. “It teaches them work ethic. It teaches them every aspect of what it takes to run and have a business and be successful."
The project is named after a former school administrator and pastor in the Lexington area, who passed away two years ago, from cancer.
Scooter Scott started a nonprofit, designed to benefit students and parents and bring them closer to God. Now, Jones hopes to continue his legacy.
"What attracted me to this program was the fact that Scooter cast his vision about 10, 15, 20 years down the road. You're going to see these kids, who really came in struggling through high school, who you helped,” says Jones. You helped them through high school and beyond to make them get through high school and find careers."
Students get 100 percent of the proceeds from sales. The money goes into an account that students can use when they head to college.
"This past year, we had a student who got a check for $1,000 and he's using that to go to Winthrop University,” says Jones.
Farris has a long way to go before she can access her scholarship funds, but she's learning through every product she makes.
"It teaches responsibility and it teaches you to listen to your boss," says Farris.
As for her motivation, she says she keeps coming back because “they actually need me."
The Scooter Scott Project also provides free GED classes every Saturday.
For more information about the project and ways to get involved, click on the link here.