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Maintaining a business is hard, but when high school students are in charge and keep it successful, it’s impressive.
For nearly 15 years, Bement High School business students have been running an in-school candy shop called, “The Dog House.”
Former business teacher Merle Taylor created the Dog House in 1999 and when he retired from teaching in 2007, Andrew Brown took over as the supervisor.
The Dog House is open for 15 minutes during lunch period, but that’s enough to get the job done.
“Every day I have worked I have always been swamped. The line feels like it never ends,” said Marie Lincicum, BHS Senior. “I would rather be swamped so I can have a challenge. I love working and learning how to deal with different people and different attitudes.”
For the 2012-2013 school year The Dog House donated over $600.
“Whatever profit we make, we find ways to give it back to the school and community,” Brown said. “Usually something comes up during the school year to where we have the opportunity to donate.”
In the past, The Dog House has donated to the Red Cross, Haiti Earthquake victims, Harrisburg Tornado victims, the Camden Foundation and helped with Prom expenses.
They also give out a $250 scholarship to a graduating senior who plans to major in a business or technology related field. This will be the 5th year they have a scholarship.
The requirements to work The Dog House are simple, you must be enrolled in Business Enterprise at BHS, but Brown will select others.
“The students that have completed Business Enterprise and excel are the ones I will ask to help more than just a semester,” said Brown.
Students who are in the class have a weekly schedule of jobs they must perform. The four jobs are the manager, accountant, inventory and janitor.
JTA Foods has agreed to sell clothing merchandise for The Dog House. The grocery store has Bement Bulldogs and Cerro Gordo-Bement Broncos apparel items for sell and The Dog House gets all the profit.
Brown is very thankful for the encouragement him and his students get from the community.
“I appreciate all the support our student workers get from the businesses here in Bement,” he said. “It gives the students real life business opportunities.”
The main purpose of The Dog House is to give the student’s experience and teach them hardships and benefits of running a business. The students have nothing but positive experiences from working The Dog House.
“It’s so much fun working at The Dog House,” said BHS Senior Samantha O’Brien. “You’re not just doing book work, but getting hands on experience.”
Brown agrees with O’Brien.
“The biggest thing kids like about it is the experience and not just being in a classroom,” Brown said. “This provides an opportunity for students who aren’t traditional learners to learn a different way.”
Brown is thankful for all the hard work and encouragement he gets from BHS Career Educator, Cathy Flood.
“Mrs. Flood has been a really big help with this business,” he said. “She provides assistances and ideas that helps keep The Dog House successful”
Brown doesn’t know what new things The Dog House will do in the future, but one thing is for sure is that the community, teachers and students will continue to support it.