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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Mira Mesa, San Diego, California, USA

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Mira Mesa, San Diego, California, USA
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Registered: September 2011
City/Town/Province: San Diego
Posts: 1
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“10 years!”, that was my reaction when I discovered that my dad would be in prison for 10 years. In my sophomore year of high school, I found myself in a single-parent household due to my father’s incarceration. We were low-income and at times I wondered if I even had a future. Not knowing what to expect terrified me. I believed it might be impossible for me to go to college and there were times I just wanted to give up.

In my senior year of high school, I decided to volunteer at my local teen center to encourage teens who faced similar obstacles as I did and to have a positive affect on my community, Mira Mesa. While volunteering at my local teen center, I heard of the Junior Achievement company program, a program that educates high school students about business and about developing and managing a company. Reflecting on how I wanted to inspire teens and make a difference in my community, I realized that this program was my opportunity to do so by creating a company. Nine teenagers from Scripps Ranch High School and Mira Mesa High School, and I, decided to initiate our own company through the help of Junior Achievement. Our company is called Eco-Eventerprise and we make centerpieces out of recyclable materials for various businesses, schools, and organizations in San Diego, California.

Whereas an average person observes just an ordinary water bottle, Eco-Eventerprise sees potential of eco-art. It sees beauty and profit, while improving the environment. Our centerpieces, “Green Decorations for Special Occasions”, offer an alternative choice through eco-friendly art. We use recycled materials when creating our products, such as plastic bottles, cardboard and recycled paper. The product may be customizable to any theme of a client and maintain within their budget. We were motivated to launch Eco-Eventerprise by the recycled art objects that our art teacher at the local teen center in Mira Mesa, created with our volunteer help. We chose centerpieces as our product because we thought it would be a creative way to demonstrate to our community a different approach to recycling—being innovative with one’s own recyclables. Reflecting on our community view of recycling, we felt it was an important area of need in our community because it was deemphasized. Acknowledging how plastic bottles may take nearly 1,000 years to decompose, we wanted our community, especially teens, to realize they can make a difference by donating their plastic bottles to Eco-Eventerprise. We were confident that our product would not only positively affect our community’s view on recycling, but the world as well. We envisioned our product assisting in saving the environment by emphasizing the importance of recycling. To achieve our vision, we created brochures, business cards, and PowerPoint presentations, which enabled us to network and raise awareness about our recycle art centerpieces and decorations for events.

Throughout our experience, we remained determined to advertise our centerpieces and to make sales by attending craft fairs, community fairs, and business expos. As a result of our persistence, we attained several orders for special events. We created centerpieces for the Mira Mesa Town Council Volunteer of the Year and for the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame Charity Event. The two finishing products received great approvals, which led interest in future orders from the guests. Many were amazed to discover that our centerpieces were made from recycled materials. With our centerpieces, we were able to communicate effectively with our clients that recycling does not have to be a burden; it takes creativity to use what is available.

One of our biggest challenges was being a small team of ten. Everyone had to play multiple roles in marketing, sales, and production. Our team work enabled us to work effectively and meet each product deadline. We all agreed to collect large bags of used plastic bottles and to create awareness about our recycled art centerpieces at our schools. Staff, teachers and students, donated many plastic bottles. We also enforced that everyone in our team to recycle at home and to inform their family about the importance of recycling. As vice president of sales for Eco-Eventerprise, I was responsible to formulate sales plans and to establish monthly sales objectives. To create awareness of recycling and about our centerpieces, I developed a brochure and used business cards. Being vice president of sales has challenged me to become persistent when initiating and closing a sale. Facing rejection was difficult to accept, but I learned to trust myself. There were times I did not understand what I was learning about business, but I did not give up. I decided to be tenacious. Witnessing how we influenced teens and our community, gave me the strength to keep moving forward with our company when faced with obstacles. This great experience has taught me that we reap what we sow. My team and I sowed valuable virtues such as diligence, honesty, and responsibility, which yielded the harvest of us flying to Washington, DC in July 2011, and winning second place at the North American JA Company of the Year competition. This was the beginning of increasing about recycling to the world through our centerpieces. After our competition, we had the opportunity to present our company to the Gang Commission of San Diego, of how teens were making a difference by conserving the environment through creating recycled art centerpieces, while learning about business. Since our accomplishments and our experience in the Junior Achievement company program, which lasted from February 2011 to July 2011, we transcended our company to become a nonprofit educational program under the support of Junior Achievement. Today, we continue to hold meetings every Tuesday at our new company building in Mira Mesa and strive to expand our business across the country. As a result of participating in the Junior Achievement company program and managing Eco-Eventerprise, I am pursuing a masters in business administration to become a business leader. I intend to become a social entrepreneur to assist impoverished countries fulfill their nutritional needs.

As humans, we tend to take our planet for granted. We sometimes may not realize that our actions, good or bad, will affect the world. We hope our centerpieces will become a symbol for society to represent what our planet can be in the future—a cleaner and greener earth. It does not take an artist to create something beautiful; the earth itself is a piece of artwork. If we choose to be creative and use the available resources, we can change this world for the better. Through Eco-Eventerprise, I learned that one person can make a difference, but with others it can leave a lasting impression on the community for our generation and the future.
Date: December 26, 2011 Views: 5962 File size: 15.0kb, 661.9kb : 2160 x 1620
Hours Volunteered: 300
Volunteers: 10
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 15 to 18
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Registered: December 2011
City/Town/Province: Sunny Isles Beach
Posts: 7
December 30, 2011 12:30pm

What a nice project Smile my shool once participated in a Green Gift-Wrapping event where we made bows and gift tags from newspapers and old magazines. They actually turned out really cute Smile i bet you guys have fun in arts and crafts :P

Continue being green!

-Hugs from Miami,