NextGen Bears Entrepreneur class paving the way for students to learn real life skills

Kaitlyn Kyar and Teacher Mike Barthel check on an issue with the printer.

by Trinity Gruenberg

A unique opportunity to give Bertha-Hewitt students a chance to create a business and learn skills that help them in the real world was the basis of the entrepreneurship class.

The idea for this class came last summer when students met with Kevin Honeycutt and NextGen Bears was born.

“The idea originated as we were looking for ways to keep our high school students motivated to come to school and give them experiences to prepare them for post high school,” said Superintendent Eric Koep.

A soft launch of the program began in the spring of 2019. After some early successes they went full force in the fall of 2019.

Students worked to cut out lake signs with the plasma cutter.

It began with making soap. Pure Goodness taught students how to make goat milk soap. They have expanded their offerings to include chapsticks, lotions, bath salts and bath bombs. Once the soap business got going, the CNC laser came into play with custom signs. . . .

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