“We always sell out—so shop early!” says student entrepreneur
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (December 2, 2019) – In the Grand Lobby of TF South High School on Thursday, December 5, shoppers will be able to purchase ornaments, blankets, holiday craft items, baked goods, and more. In addition, they’ll be giving TF South students some business experience, and providing a local charity some support.
The tenth annual Holiday Bazaar is a business venture by a company formed by TF South students several years ago, 353 Rebels Inc. Twice a year 353 Rebels Inc. organizes an enterprise designed to exercise their entrepreneurial and professional skills. Any money the ventures make is donated to local charities.
Garland Gantt and Jaiden El-Edam attended the November 26 District 215 Board meeting to invite School Board members to the Holiday Bazaar and to explain the mission of 353 Rebels Inc. “It was founded so that students in our program can learn the necessary skills it takes to have a real job,” explained Gantt. “We have gained experience with…following directions and cooperation. We learned about advertising when we designed our company flyer. We will also learn important life and social skills when we learn to work with customers. We even learned about communication skills when we came here tonight to speak in front of a room full of people!”
The students had brought some sample items to show the Board, and El-Edam worked on his salesmanship skills as he described each one. The handmade blanket is “so soft and cozy;” a handmade wooden decoration can be hung on a wall or displayed outdoors on a porch; the custom-lettered mugs “would make great holiday gifts.” The 353 Rebels have also made cards and ornaments for the Holiday Bazaar, and “some yummy food to sell.”
After reminding the Board of the date, time, and location of the Holiday Bazaar, Gantt closed the pitch with, “We always sell out—so shop early!”
TF South High School is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing, Illinois. The Holiday Bazaar will take place in the Grand Lobby from 9:00am–2:30pm, and only cash can be accepted for payments.