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JCSU students teach children the ABCs of business

Sheona McCoy ’24
JCSU Staff
Sheona McCoy ’24
Students in the Public Speaking and Communications class mentored and taught young entrepreneurs through a virtual service learning project in partnership with the Small Impressions Child Development Center in Taylors, S.C. During summer 2021, the children created their own businesses such as making personalized tumbler cups, setting up thrift stores, selling tie-dye t-shirts and even a car wash. 

JCSU students aided the young entrepreneurs by meeting with them virtually once a week to help them with all aspects of establishing their businesses. The college students helped them work on their pitches, create advertisements and brainstorm ideas. They also provided feedback so the budding entrepreneurs could learn about the subject. 

“The moment I enjoyed most was watching my mentee’s confidence blossom,” said Sheona McCoy ’24. “He was a little shy but, by the end of our journey, he was very outspoken and confident about his business. Seeing him grow was magic to me.” 

McCoy was also a student leader responsible for answering her classmates’ questions, assisting them in helping the young entrepreneurs and helping to keep an open line of communication between students and Dr. Jasmine M. Corbett, assistant professor of Communication Studies, who taught the class. 

“This experience pushed me to become the leader that I am and taught me how to communicate and curate an environment where anyone will feel safe and open,” said McCoy. 

LaVonda Paul ’96, owner of the child development center, said this experience allowed the children to learn about the importance of hard work and putting forth a good effort. It also built their communication skills and gave them a chance to learn responsibility. Paul also said this will be a long-term partnership between JCSU and Small Impressions Child Development Center. 

“The best part was the interaction between the JCSU mentors and the Small Impressions CDC students,” Paul said. “I believe both sets of students enjoyed the weekly sessions and the ability to interact with each other.” 

The children said working on these teams helped them learn, be creative and gain confidence. They also enjoyed spending time with their college mentors.  

“This whole experience has been game changing for all parties involved, and I am sure they will cherish this memory for a lifetime,” said Paul. 

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