I hope you enjoyed last week’s blog on Lemonade Day Puerto Rico and star ambassador, Saanvi Vinod. We continue to promote and push forward for Lemonade Day My Way in conjunction with National Lemonade Day on August 20. Several cities have already held their Lemonade Day event in advance of National Lemonade Day. Not only are Lemonade Day kids learning life skills, but they are also experiencing how to be flexible, pivot despite challenges, and think strategically to overcome the proverbial lemons thrown their way.
This week, I have asked Amanda Sequeira, our Greater Killeen-Ft. Hood city director for more than 10 years, to share some highlights from their Lemonade Day event on July 25. Amanda is also the vice president of community engagement for the First National Bank Texas and currently serves as a Lemonade Day National board member. I also wanted Lemonade Day ambassador Isabela Orvañanos to share her experiences, and encourage kids to register for Lemonade Day and pick “their” way to start their business venture.
On Saturday, July 25, young entrepreneurs across this North Texas community hosted their lemonade stands “their way.” Originally postponed from a weekend in May, their businesses had to adapt like everyone else and these entrepreneurs proved they were up for the challenge. Amanda tells us that her favorite Lemonade Day moments often involve a child overcoming obstacles to find success or fulfillment through their business. She goes on to say that even though this year was fraught with challenges, they saw many kids rise to the occasion and creatively problem-solve around COVID-19.
From drive-thru options to social distancing stands and virtual businesses, the kids did it all. There were lemonade flavors of all kinds including organic, herbal, and even red, white and blue. They raised money for autism awareness, St. Jude’s, homeless veterans, rescue animals, alopecia awareness and many other worthy charities as part of the “share some” Lemonade Day principle. Through it all, the young business owners learned new skills, that hard works pays off, and to have fun, no matter what.
Lemonade Day could not happen without the support of community partners. First National Bank Texas and Fort Hood National Bank have sponsored Lemonade Day since 2009 when they had the vision to launch a brand-new program that had the potential to change the lives of kids. Today, they are still sponsoring Lemonade Day along with other businesses that have joined forces with Lemonade Day, too. What was even more impressive about this year is as soon as Amanda and her team of volunteers, mentors and parents announced the new dates and implementing Lemonade Day My Way, several community partners and sponsors immediately contacted Amanda to see how they could actively support the participants. Amanda commented, “I think the announcement was a breath of fresh air and gave the community a way to show their support for youth in a time when so many experiences have been taken from them.”
Amanda was personally excited about the Lemonade Day My Way promotion because clearly, this year wasn’t going to be business as usual. “Lemonade Day My Way campaign worked. It provided a safe alternative that still gave kids an opportunity to showcase their creativity and business lessons learned. Small and large businesses across the country have had to pivot in light of the pandemic, and I was eager to see how our Lemonade Day participants would adapt. They did not disappoint,” she stated.
Amanda explained that the pandemic has been especially tough on kids and teens and a program like Lemonade Day and the idea of Lemonade Day My Way enables participants to navigate the obstacles of COVID-19 and still launch a profitable business. It is a great lesson in ‘anything is possible.’
Lemonade Day Greater Killeen-Ft. Hood is presented by First National Bank Texas and Fort Hood National Bank, along with Fort Hood Family Housing and Community Lend Lease with other local sponsors including H-E-B. For more information about Lemonade Day, go to forthood.lemonadeday.org.
A few weeks ago, we introduced you to 17-year old twins, Isabela and Patricio Orvañanos. They first participated in Lemonade Day when they were six and today, they are confident young entrepreneurs who have used the skills learned through Lemonade Day to develop and sell their own board game that helps to teach business skills to other kids. They attribute the fun experiences they had selling lemonade and even expanding their lemonade stand product offerings to the principles learned through the Lemonade Day program. They both say they have such a strong foundation of confidence from participating in the program and enjoy mentoring other kids so they can have a similar positive experience.
They are very busy these days developing and submitting their college essays, but Isabela took a break to share a message about Lemonade Day My Way (see below). In the video, Isabela encourages kids, with their parents’ permission, to sign up for Lemonade Day and learn the fundamentals of being a young entrepreneur, especially while we are all stuck at home.
Above all, Isabela wants you to have fun and make some money. Sounds like a great idea, Isabela! Thanks for providing inspiration and encouragement to all the budding youth entrepreneurs out there.
Getting involved in our Lemonade Day program starts with registration. Parents, grandparents and any responsible adult 18 or older can go to LemonadeDay.org and register kids for free. The “how to” step-by-step guidelines are readily available for hosting a lemonade stand the virtual way or the in-person way. We offer lessons through our Lemonopolis online platform, which is delivered free in participating Lemonade Day cities thanks to the generosity of local sponsors and nationally, thanks to our partner Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers [https://www.raisingcanes.com/lemonade-day].
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com. Please share this blog with others whether it is parents, teachers, youth organization leaders, and businesses. We are always looking for mentors and sponsors who want to help the next budding entrepreneurs!