My daughter Clara would make Donald Trump proud. Ever since she was old enough to know that money buys things, she has been scheming about different ways she can earn money. Over the last year or so her focus has been on buying a laptop computer for the different games and activities she enjoys. She knows they are expensive but that hasn’t stopped her from saving her pennies anyways. Her dad will probably have to subsidize her purchase later this year, but for now she keeps on plugging away. Some of the projects she has undertaken include growing and selling gourds from Grandma Matthews’ garden, selling a homemade soapy concoction to Judy Augsburger and other understanding neighbors, and helping out with our periodic garage sales. But her all time favorite money maker is the old standby: a lemonade stand.
I can’t tell you how many times she will race up to me in the middle of winter or during a spring downpour and ask if she can go out and sell lemonade for her laptop fund. As tiresome as that question can be in the dead of winter, her persistence and entrepreneurial spirit are inspiring. And her favorite small business has recently been the inspiration for a new youth program we are starting at First National Bank.
Until we come up with a better name we are calling our new program the “Young Entrepreneurs” and it is designed to inspire kids to earn, save, and take responsibility for their own money. Every year we spend time in area schools teaching students about the importance of saving and about understanding the value of money. This year we have been taking this one step farther and are encouraging them to take ownership of the things they want by earning their own money.
The Bank already offers a youth savings account called Moola-Moola and we are giving away business kits to children who open or already have an account. The packet includes a zippered change bag, checklists for helping to plan a lemonade stand or any other youth project, a pencil, and for the first 50 kids who come in after June 1 we will also give them a poster board so they can advertise their business with a poster.
If we can inspire kids like Clara to think about earning and saving money now, they will be that much farther ahead as they grow older. Feel free to bring your child or grandchild into any of our branches and we can help give your young entrepreneurs the tools they will need to make a little lemonade out of lemons.