Maria from Maria’s Italian Ice sells our Italian Ices in Upstate New York. Her mom and dad drove down to Elizabeth, NJ to resupply Maria with more Italian Ices. Maria’s mom tried to get her on the phone to talk with us – watch video to see what happens.
All manner of vendor varieties set up shop at Ypsilanti Township’s Lakeshore Family Festival over the Fourth of July weekend, but perhaps none were younger than those from the Ypsilanti Boys Preparatory Academy.
During Friday afternoon, 10-year-old Keyshaun Wyatt-Morris and 11-year-old Amir Osborn sold Italian Ice from a “Little Jimmy’s Italian Ices” cart the school had bought, which the students were running with guidance from their headmaster, Lawrence Hood.
The business is a small part of an unconventional school curriculum which Hood, and those parents who send their children to the school, believe is giving their kids an edge on education as they grow up.
“This helps show them what it means to be in business for themselves,” Hood said of the Italian Ice cart.
Osborn said it his first taste of a real world operation, and he is learning a lot from it.
“You have got to be professional with people,” Osborn said.
The school first opened its doors two years ago inside the Ypsilanti Free Methodist Church, but has since moved to a new building on Walnut Street where 50 kids in the preschool through seventh-grade ages are now enrolled.
“Our parents really love the program,” Hood, who has only used word of mouth as marketing and advertising, said. “To go from five students to 50 students in a couple years with no advertising kind of speaks for itself. We don’t cater to one type of student – some of our students are at-risk and some are gifted and talented. We have the whole gamut, and our at risk students have had great success.”
Wyatt-Morris said he saw his grades go from B’s and C’s in public schools to A’s and B’s at the Ypsilanti Boys Preparatory Academy because the classes are more engaging.
“We really go above and beyond what they teach in other schools,” he said. “We have karate class instead of gym…classes that show what makes a man.”
Students dress in a shirt and tie, take karate instead of physical education to learn more about self-discipline, take piano lessons, and Osborn and Wyatt-Morris wrote their own business plans before applying what they learned to the real world with their Italian Ice operation.
Students also prepare themselves for the future in an intensive digital arts program that includes graphic design, video editing and music production.
The six-week “Passports To Manhood” through the Boys and Girls’ Club immersed the students in the digital arts, and Hood believes his students have received valuable preparation for growing fields.
“It’s a pretty unique program,” he said and added that it was such a success that it will be part of the curriculum for the next school year.
Students at the Academy also participate in community service programs once week. In a program through the University of Michigan, students visit with elderly people who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and do arts and crafts and music classes.
“It goes really, really well,” Hood said.
The students get their fair share of math, science and reading, but Hood believes it’s the delivery that affords them an opportunity to blossom where a traditional environment may not.
“Some students who come here have behavior problems, but once they get here their setting is really different and expectations are different and they respond really well,” Hood said. “The lessons are designed as a more hands-on approach, and with them being engaged in activity and learning throughout the day we see less opportunity for outbursts.
“Basically, they’re learning everything they need to know to become successful young men.”
For more information, contact Lawrence Hood at 1-734-330-4466.
Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for the View/Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet success nets teen a cool $40,000 college scholarship
Columbus Ohio –When Michael Showalter’s parents asked him to earn money toward college, they had in mind an after-school job. But Michael started a small business, Guiseppe’s Italian Ice, which quickly turned a profit. He then used his business’s success story to win the McKelvey Foundation’s $40,000 college scholarship, awarded to student entrepreneurs.
Guiseppe’s Italian Ice operates out of pop-up tents, dishing up traditional Italian Ice to tired, thirsty fairgoers at festivals and outdoor events. Showalter buys the product from Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice in New Jersey, where it’s manufactured according to a century-old family recipe. “It’s healthier than most desserts, especially stuff that you find at a festival. One of the reasons I sell this brand is it does not have high-fructose corn syrup,” said Showalter. Popular flavors are lemon, blue raspberry, watermelon and cherry. From time to time, the menu also features pina colada, chocolate, grape and green apple Italian ice.
His enterprise, named after his father, began a year ago with an initial investment of $14,000. He recouped those startup costs handily, and in fact, broke even. Soon, Giuseppe’s began adding employees. With eight workers and two tents, Showalter has invested another $20,000 to expand his market–next year, Giuseppe’s Italian Ice will be sold in both Ohio and Michigan.
Showalter demonstrated true entrepreneurial grit, planning and executing a business that could have taken a lifetime to build, in just a matter of months. “It’s been real fun so I keep doing it,” said Showalter. “But it’s been a lot more work than I thought it would be originally, that’s for sure.”
Like most entrepreneurs, he is constantly expanding his funding horizon, and never shies from opportunity. The McKelvey Entrepreneurial e-scholarship could have been designed for Michael Showalter—it was created in 2006 to relieve the burden of debt many students face after graduation.
The Entrepreneurial Scholarship is offered by the McKelvey Foundation to high school students who start their own businesses or nonprofit agencies. The foundation’s founder is Andy McKelvey, who started his own first business selling eggs at age 14, and went on to found several successful businesses, the largest of which evolved into the online employment ad giant, Monster.com. The McKelvey Foundation currently supports over 600 students achieving a better future.
Showalter graduated from high school this year, and isn’t yet sure what his major will be at the University of Michigan. But he is sure about how he’ll earn his income–he’ll continue selling Guiseppe’s Italian Ice at festivals, fairs, and public events.
There are many more resources about entrepreneurial scholarships when you do a search in Google.
Here are some that I found rather quickly:
Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice (800)763-4348 GET PRICES
Italian Ice and Italian Ice Pushcarts
Our Push carts are a Miracle on Ice!
No Need For Cold Plates- No Need For Electricity
Just Fill with Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice and You’re Good to Go!
Italian Ice is a dessert treat that has been around for centuries. Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice recipe consists of a water-based, fat-free, dairy-free, cholesterol-free, and high fructose corn syrup-free gourmet dessert of many different flavors. Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice is a true Italian water ice which has the creaminess of sherbet or ice cream and never contains any dairy or non-dairy creamer. Our Italian ice is produced the old fashioned way in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Little Jimmy’s Italian water Ice is sold at malls, stadiums, amusement parks, festivals, fairs, beaches, flea markets, camps, state parks, swim clubs, golf courses, resort hotels, carnivals, zoos, etc… At these locations our water ice is sold from Italian ice push carts, concession trailers, kiosks, freezers and concession stands. In fact, anywhere there is a gathering or flow of people, there is an opportunity to sell Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice.