Stevens High Student Present Student Entrepreneurial Program To Council; Bike Repair Station Also Debated – Council Update (05/02/2018)

This past week’s Council Meeting was headlined by a guest presentation but began with some updates. The first update came from the Student Life Committee, saying that as a committee they had gone to the Richmond Middle School to look at their cafeteria. This was followed up with the statement that as a school HHS should look at what its meal services contract promises and what students are actually getting and that to do so the committee will send out a survey about the cafeteria and use the responses they receive to send a letter about the cafeteria to the school board. Next on the agenda was the main attraction, a presentation about a program called AdVenture Capital (AdCap for short) by a student from Stevens High School in Claremont named Prescott Herzog, who had taken advantage of the program to help install a breakfast cart (that he and a few friends run) in his high school cafeteria.

Prescott explained that AdCap is a student entrepreneurship program that helps student entrepreneurs improve their community. Before he began his presentation, Prescott asked, “What are some things that could be improved at school in terms of fitness or healthy eating?” Moderator Aisling Kelly volunteered and said that she thought the school could really benefit from intramural sports. Mrs. Ceplikas added that she thought the school cafeteria could have a salad bar, a sentiment that Council seemed to be in agreement with.  

Prescott then delved into his presentation. He explained that students can apply for up to $1,000 of public funding for their ideas. He then explained how AdCap can help students develop their network as it can connect them with a virtual mentor and other AdCap members. He also added that students in the program can apply for special experiences and events. Prescott himself went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Domino’s headquarters (of pizza-making fame) and got to meet with major executives there. He said he was awarded this opportunity as he was the New England recipient of Domino’s transformation experience, which also included a $2,000 grant for his grab ‘n’ go breakfast cart. In addition, the New England Dairy and Food Council gave him $3,000 in grant funding, along with sponsorship programs from businesses in which he received $2,300 to run free breakfast days. Prescott then concluded his presentation by explaining how easy it is to start a project, saying that all you have to do is submit a project design online.

Following the presentation, there was some time for questions. Teacher Representative Mr. Bourne asked if Prescott received academic credit for the project, to which Prescott answered that you can if you want but that he chose to also do it as his Eagle Scout project. Sophomore Representative Ian Nolon then asked how many applicants actually received funding, to which Prescott clarified that 96% of projects receive public funding. The conversation ended with large applause after Teacher Representative Mrs. Ceplikas asked what grade Prescott was in; he said he was still a freshman, a fact that seemed to stun most Council members.

Next on the agenda were two quick money allocations. The first was for $30 for the Skip Bean Democratic Citizen of the Year Award and the second for $25 for the Staff of the Year Award. Both allocations passed without a second thought.

Last on the agenda for the Council meeting was Bike Fix-it Station Allocation. The allocation would be for $1,500 to Ms. Eakin for the creation of a Bike Fix-it Station. Since Ms. Eakin couldn’t attend the meeting, Ms. Addante explained the allocation. Ms. Addante said that the station will be an opportunity for community members to come by and fix their bikes. She also clarified that the money must be given to Ms. Eakin because the library isn’t allowed to use their money for this project and that the project would take 2-3 weeks once the money was allocated.

Immediately after Ms. Addante spoke, Assistant Moderator Jasper Meyer moved to table the motion until the new Council was voted in. He gave the reasons that it is a lot of money for a project, and that since Council hasn’t seen what the co-curricular budget will look like, they shouldn’t overspend before the budget is certain. He emphasized that it would be more responsible to wait and that such a budgetary hit could potentially harm clubs. Co-Treasurer Colm Seigne immediately disagreed and said that he would not recommend tabling motions because as a treasurer he knows that this can be done and that Council has the money to spare. After a vote, it was determined that the allocation would not be tabled.

However, despite not being tabled, the allocation was not passed before the end of the period as more discussion ensued. Junior Representative Romaney Granizo-MacKenzie concluded the meeting by saying that she doesn’t want this to be something that won’t be used at all and that she believes people who ride their bikes likely already use their own tools at home and thus don’t need a Bike Fix-it Station.

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