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Barbara Greenleaf

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Dons Net Cafe-Santa Barbara High School/ROP
December 30, 2010

As the author of a young adult novel, Animal Kingdom, and director of the website, Business-Minded Teens, I can appreciate the real-life business experiences that are taking place in the Dons Net Cafe. Much more than a virtual reality class--these students are running real businesses!--the Dons Net Cafe is a brilliant introduction to the world of entrepreneurship. Here, students learn the structure of a business organization, what it takes to make a sale and--just as important--how to plow their profits back into the community to do good in the world. They sell bracelets from Africa, fair-traded coffee, cookies made by homeless people and tote bags made from Indonesian garbage as well as their own homegrown tee-shirts. In addition, they help out other non-profits at events and in support capacities. Their teacher, Lee Knoedel, brings in business resources from around the community: people such as I who tutor, lecture and mentor in computers, English skills, photography, layout, sales and a myriad of other competencies. I wish I had had this opportunity when I was in high school!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The confidence of the students and the way they look people in the eye, ready to take on the next challenge.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them a bigger classroom!

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Helped students with newsletters, invitations, fliers, interviews.