Students at Gustine High School have the opportunity to be taught the fundamentals of starting a business through a new grant offered by the Traveling Library and grant sponsors.
The Brighter Paths Student Business Grant was created by Zachery Ramos and the Traveling Library Board Members to help the younger generation of current high school students grow their own businesses.
“We want these kids to start their own business and by doing something, we are working to make that dream come true by helping sponsor their business,” Ramos said.
This grant will help students with the cost of their business license in the city of Gustine. Ramos was inspired to start this project due to his own experience building his own business at Gustine and the fact that there weren’t many resources available to him as a young entrepreneur.
“Given the current times we’re going through, I want to help people my age and younger get off the ground and help them get the support that I didn’t have when I started my business,” Ramos said.
Students can currently apply for the scholarship and have until the end of January to submit their application. All applications will be submitted to educator Jennifer Okamoto of Gustine High.
The application should include three to five pages of a typed proposal outlining their business plans, costs, impact on the Gustine/Santa Nella community, and future goals for the business. Once the proposals are submitted, applicants can expect an experience similar to that of a famous TV show designed to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by pitching their business idea to a group of investors.
“Students have to submit a proposal, once 5-10 of them are chosen by the staff, we move on, then they go past me and three other business owners, then the students have to give us a presenting ‘Shark Tank’ four and we four are evaluating them,” Ramos explained.
Up to three winners will be chosen for this year’s grant and once the applicants are awarded, they will not only receive the cost of their business license, but also future support for board members of the Gustine trade association teaches individuals about marketing and planning.
Once applications are submitted, the entire month of February will be used by supervisors to review applications and choose finalists for interviews through which winners will be chosen in March.
“We currently have a lot of young people who see how the world is changing today and lose hope of creating something of their own. Many children would rather be workers than owners and we hope to inspire a shift in that way of thinking,” Ramos said.