Ozarks Life: Teaching kids business fundamentals for a lifetime of success

Life 360 Community Services is helping kids create small businesses.
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 5:19 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Inside the old, Fairbanks school building on Broadway education continues thanks to Life 360.

“This is our first step on preparing our students to taking that big ownership later on in life,” Life 360 Community Service afterschool director Billie Wiegand said.

Kiosks in a coffee shop sell unique sides for that cup of Joe. Each one is owned by a kid or siblings who faired well at a recent Children’s Business Fair.

These are the best of the 33-booths entered in the organization’s winter Children’s Business Fair. That success earned them a showcase inside the Fairbanks Coffee shop.

“We want to educate and empower our students to learn more about businesses and business practices,” Wiegand said. “I’m handing out to eight-year-old kids, their actual business license.”

“I think it’s really fun,” Billie Drury said who has a kiosk of homemade knick-knacks she made with her sister, Robin.

‘It’s pretty cool because I’ve never actually had a full shop,” Samuel Acosta said about his cardboard weapon kiosk.

“We have paintings,” Emily Neal said about her family’s kiosk. “I do most of them but (Alina) does the cartoon animals and (Mariela) does the signs.”

Life360 Community Services offers free entrepreneurship courses for the kids who register for the fair. They learn customer service, work ethic, financial development, and more.

“Within these courses,” Wiegand explains, “they learn fiscal responsibility. They learn customer service skills, they learn just the basics of entrepreneurship.”

And they all have big plans for the money they hope to see rolling in.

“We are putting it towards schooling,” the Drurys said.

“We’re saving for church camp,” the Neals added.

“I’m saving up to this $300 Like Nerf gun,” Acosta mentioned.

Near the front of the shop is Adalia Ligon’s kiosk. It has soaps and candles, bags and earrings. She’s expanding an idea from her older sister, Elseya.

“Whenever I was six, and she was 10,” Adalia said, “she started making earrings. And she learned how to sew. So I want to do it too.”

The money she makes is going to Rescue One, the non-profit supporting foster dogs until they can find their forever homes.

“Sometimes there’s not enough money for them to get taken care of fully,” Adalia said.

Over the years, Adalia’s family has had more than 80 fosters. And so sales from her kiosk will help these strays, rescues, and surrenders get the medical care they need before adoption.

“We had one that was $10,000 at one point in medical care,” Adalia said. “It makes me feel like I’m able to help in some way, or more than just fostering them.”

These kiosks are up for six months at the Life 360 Fairbanks building on Broadway. They’ll be replaced by the winners of the next, business fair which is scheduled for April.

Just click here for more information on the next Life 360 Community Service Childrens Business Fair.

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