Local Educators’ View of OC Youth Engagement
April 19, 2014

An earlier blog post gave a description of OC’s youth engagement programs—now let’s hear what some of the high school educators we work in Texas have to say:

OC Teachers Three high school teachers who have worked for years on OC E-fairs: Rachel Gonzalez (Dimmit, TX), Debbie Raymond (Plainview, TX), and Rebecca Cobb (Tulia, TX)

Rachel Gonzales, Dimmit ISD:

Our students are always excited to participate in the Youth Engagement Day and Entrepreneur Fair.  They begin to find their passion and what interests them, and then are able to utilize that information and build it into a business idea.  Students begin to learn the foundation of what it means to be an entrepreneur.  These events also allowed our school to see students excited about their projects and the knowledge and experience they have gained.  Ogallala Commons (OC) provided our students with resources that help them become aspiring entrepreneurs.

Rebecca Cobb, Tulia ISD:

Tulia students have participated in OC’s Entrepreneur Fair and Youth Engagement Day—both have been a positive experience.  When Tulia has hosted these events in past few years, our students were able to see projects from other schools and learn how to present their ideas to other people, not just the judges.  Students found out that having your own business not only takes work to get the business started, but also to get the financing and networking before the store front opens or product production starts.  Ogallala Commons has made a positive impact on our students and helps to open their eyes to the fact that they can make a living in a small, rural setting.

Mark Castillo, Hart ISD:

We held the very first Youth Engagement Day at Hart High School in 2007.  Also, several of our students have furthered their education through internships with Ogallala Commons. As a teacher, I like the students to see that there is a “real world” out there.

Debbie Raymond, Plainview ISD:

I teach an Entrepreneurship class at Plainview High School, and have participated in both the Youth Engagement Days and Entrepreneur Fairs.  Students were really excited to listen to young entrepreneurs, but were also exposed to the hard work required.  After writing a business plan and preparing for the competition, most of them had a rude awakening that it took so much to become an entrepreneur—it really shocked them.  But I have had some really creative students that came up with some great ideas that could possibly be a business in the future.  I feel this is a great experience for students to learn from.  The work that Ogallala Commons is trying to do is remarkable

We’re so grateful to these teachers for allowing us to be a part of the work they are doing with these students on a daily basis.  We are excited to have a chance to be a part of the future and to help make it look a little brighter.