When little Ahnari Nash was asked why she wanted to give money to the campaign “Victory Over Violence,” she said she wanted “to help people stay alive.”
Nash, a soon-to-be second-grader at Western Hills Elementary School, was one of 125 kindergarten through fourth-grade students who learned how to become an entrepreneur at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Children International’s “Mind Your Own Business” summer enrichment program.
“The youth are learning to be socially responsible and understand they can make a difference,” said Paula Rogers, program enrichment manager at Children International.
During the summer program, instructors taught students the financially literacy and entrepreneurial skills needed to run a business, including how to speak to customers and investors, how to handle money, create a budget, and save money for a business.
Some of the products they created this year included puzzle picture frames, CD case calendars, hand-painted notepads, wire people greeting cards, and paper Pandora beads.
Kyler Lee, a second-grader at Terry Elementary School, said making the notepads was “hard work,” but he now has plans for a future in business.
“I want to own my own business and sell products,” Lee said.
After selling their homemade products at the University District Farmer’s Market and Downtown River Market, Children International students presented more than $900 to “Victory Over Violence” campaign organizers during the “Victory Walk” held July 15 in MacArthur Park.
Launched by KARK and Fox16, the campaign focuses on covering crime responsibly and uniting community groups and leaders to reduce violent crimes through improvements in education, jobs, mentoring, and fighting hunger.
Organizers for “Victory Over Violence” said the money raised would be given to an organization for at-risk youths.
Marqueashia Thompson, third-grade business enrichment instructor, said many of participants end the summer feeling optimistic about their future as entrepreneurs.
“The kids are inspired to be rich,” Thompson said. “They don’t feel like they have any limits. They can do anything they put their minds to.”
In the upper right photo, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Children International students sell homemade products to raise money for the “Victory Over Violence” campaign at the University District Farmer’s Market. Pictured, from left to right, include: second-grader Angela Salas, Camp Instructor Mary Virden, first-grader Aimar Salas, third-grader Mason Thomas, and fourth-grader Kirsten Ewings. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.