While many young people would be spending the hot summer days at the pool, or sleeping in until noon, three industrious Bishop Ward students were getting up early in the morning to start their adventure into the Kansas City business community. Olga Besestre, Gareti Chapa and Jessica Perez joined students from Shawnee Mission North, JC Harmon, Wyandotte High School and Sumner Academy to participate in a life-changing program.
Over an 8-week period, the CABA (Central Avenue Betterment Association), held the Summer Start Up program sponsored by BPU. Each session, the students would start their morning at CABA and then journey to a corporation or business within the Kansas City Community. Through visits to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Soccer Nation, the Sprint campus, Top Golf, UG of Wyandotte County, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, students learned about networking, time management, interpersonal skills, business structures, finances, and many other beneficial topics. They attended One Million Cups, an entrepreneurial program sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation. They met Mayor Mark Holland as well as many corporate executives in the Kansas City community. They met with executive mentors at a private luncheon at the Capital Grille on the Plaza, which helped to break down barriers and instill self-confidence.
Saturday mornings, they worked at "La Placita" Central Avenue Marketplace, learning about the difficult challenges vendors face in producing, marketing and selling their goods.
Through hard work and effort, each student had a profound experience, made some lifelong friends, and earned certificates of achievement and a scholarship.
Congratulations, Olga, Gareti, and Jessica!
By: Leslie Gasser