This guest post is coming from Keagan Henson. Keagan Henson, CEO of BriteBee, strives to be the definition of a servant leader. As an entrepreneur, Keagan is grateful for the opportunity to have grown multiple businesses and understands what it takes to serve customers and how to make a positive impact on the world around him.
No one is born knowing what to do or how to get what they want. Well, except instinctively crying, but when has that ever gotten us anything past toddler-age?
Between the ages of 11 and 14 in middle school, during some of the most hormonally- and emotionally-challenging times of our lives wreaking havoc on our emotions, our minds aren’t normally focused on anything other than just simply surviving middle school. Focused on just making it through this growing-up thing.
We’re not thinking about becoming leaders or how to go about it; not thinking about business, as our world consists of the middle school building; and most certainly not giving any consideration at all to real careers, and how to excel.
The world of schools has changed so much in recent years; we hear every day of things going on, with schools being less a place of learning, thought-formation, and refuge, and more a place of trying to get through the hours spent there. These young minds aren’t focused on how to get to their future, but on the NOW.
That’s where Loveworks comes in
Created in 2011, Loveworks Leadership, Inc. is a non-profit committed to helping middle school students aged 11-14 discover their potential, live into their dreams, and create bright futures. They are here for all kids, no matter the socioeconomic or cultural background. Through the design of specific programs to empower creativity, resourcefulness, and potential, they are able to help the kids develop their character, academics, and harness their leadership abilities to ensure their future success.
Under the leadership of its Executive Director, Michael Hirsch, its groups of volunteer mentors and community professionals, to create initiatives in experiential leadership projects, community outreach, personal character development, mentorship, and learning about the various components of careers. They are such an amazing example of perseverance and dedication, and showed their true colors as they worked through some major barriers after losing over 70% of their funding.
Now that’s remarkable!
Check out REAL Kitchen, where these students formulated an idea and ran with it to create their own entrepreneurial for-profit business in the production of a fresh salsa product—and making it available in not only the city of Norman but the whole of Oklahoma!
BriteBee Loves Loveworks!
Being a startup, we know what it’s like to flounder around a little bit, finding our way to success through trial and error. Our team is from various backgrounds and cultures, and we’ve discovered how to mix it all into a cohesive and well-oiled machine! We know from experience that it takes work and dedication, and, above all, learning. Recently, a team member shared with the rest of us that BriteBee gave him a level of confidence that no one can ever take away. That is some powerful stuff! And is our goal for each and every one of these open and curious minds in Loveworks.
Loveworks is such a remarkable organization! The good that it is doing, all of the people involved in it, is instilling in everyone such a joyous hope for the future, and what these kids can—and we believe will—do and create.
We first heard about Loveworks during an event for another company, and were amazed at the energy being shown, all in the spirit of education and leadership. When we returned from the event and having been shown everything these kids had created (including the salsa company and others!), it was natural to talk about it in our team meeting. We all said the same thing: “If I had had this when I was growing up…imagine being shown and taught all the business side of things and creating your own company when you’re in middle school! Where would I be today if I had had something like that?”
As a startup, we have limited time and money to give, but we do have a tremendous opportunity to show these kids, through example (and what could be better than that?), that we’re going through the same thing—that what they’re being shown and experiencing is real, and real business life.
We want to show them how important it is to serve and be a part of the entrepreneur community. We want to be their example that they can succeed, that it’s all worth it; through the struggles in pitching and marketing, brand creation, and wins and losses, we come out on the other side with more knowledge to put towards success. We want to be a part of showing them how to excel, and pushing them through the struggles to excel.
This is why we wanted to support them. Though we don’t have much to give, we do have example to show them, and we have our heart to give. We started working with these young entrepreneurs by talking to them about the concept of–and uses for–podcasts. They are so excited that we’re introducing them to this, and creating their own podcasts! It’s wonderful to see.
Join us in our journey with Loveworks—to help give every student an opportunity to not only shine like the stars and beam like the sun, but to lead!
CEO of BriteBee