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Team G.O.L.D. - Persistence Pays Off!

Team: G.O.L.D. (Go Online and Delete) Company

Location: Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest

Student Story: Lanee Johnson, vice president of public relations

This year our team wanted to design a company around cyber-bullying since we all knew students that have been affected by it and knew it was a hot topic in the media that had become more prevalent with Facebook and Twitter.

We selected and designed a shirt with a strong message of action, believing it would be a big hit and that students and adults would buy a lot of shirts. What we discovered was there were so many other programs and clubs selling shirts and our students don’t have a lot of money to buy shirts, so competition was very challenging and shirt sales were very low and members were losing their drive to sell shirts.

We then decided to create an event that would help to sell shirts. We searched for a great speaker and either a skit, song, or dance to engage a young audience. When the members contacted the theatre teacher, we discovered his

students were so busy getting ready for a spring play, so none of them were available to work with us. We then contacted the executive director, Julie Young-Burns, from Safe and Drug Free Schools at Minneapolis Public Schools and discovered she only presented to parents and adults and had no materials for teens or younger audiences. And then we met with our school administers and were told the auditorium would not be available until April, since it was being used for community events and the school spring play.

Everything we were trying to do was not working out and so the officers got together to develop a new plan to present to our advisor, Mrs. Poelstra and Shane Cropper, Best Buy volunteer.

At our Thursday meeting, the students proposed a plan to quit and give the G.O.L.D company idea to the new group of members next year who could start right away in October and would have much more time to work on the plans. Mrs. Poelstra and Mr. Cropper told us that was not an option and that instead of quitting we needed to change our plan. Then Mr. Cropper shared with us how Best Buy got started and all the struggles and challenges the founder, Richard, had when his first warehouse burned down. Due to his challenges, it created an opportunity to come up with another plan and look at where Best Buy is today.

We all got recharged and changed our plan. The new plan consisted of having the Young Madness Steppers (dance team at Thomas Edison) and Alison Feigh, M.S. Community Safety Specialist from the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, as our speaker for our assembly turned out to be a better selection that really engaged and educated the students. And in turn, we invited Julie Young-Burns to the assembly and gave her a copy of the DVD we made of the assembly so she could use it during her presentations. We then made copies and gave to all the Minneapolis Public Schools.

We won first place in Regional’s and have now qualified for Nationals and never would have been able to do any of this if we would have given up.

Student Story: Matthew Vue, president

A big obstacle that I had to deal with in the G.O.L.D Company was in relation to my attendance at the meetings. As President, I was required to be at every meeting, which was very hard and challenging since I was a senior and taking all my classes (but Physics) at a community college through the Post-secondary Education program. It seemed like the scholarships, college applications, and deadlines that I was working on were due at the same time all the work was due for G.O.L.D. Being a part of the program really taught me time management skills.

After we won Regional’s in April, we had to keep selling our t-shirts and promoting our program to gear up for Nationals, which was even more challenging since we had projects, finals, and graduation.

This summer we faced another huge challenge and that was in creating a commercial for the National Competition. We succeeded though through team collaboration and time management.

One day we selected to meet to video tape, but our advisor could not be there since she just had surgery on her shoulder and one of our other officers was in Mexico. However, we met anyway and were able to use parts from each to create our video. We learned that persistence pays off!

Check out team G.O.L.D.'s event flyer!

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