Military kids are building success one cookie at a time with a new program aimed at training young entrepreneurs.
Sweets by Kids: A Military Child Company was launched by Kids Rank, a service-based organization designed for military kids. It engages participants in hands-on, skill building projects and volunteer opportunities. The entrepreneur program runs for eight weeks, teaching students in sixth through 10th grades about business from a wholesale perspective — including the process of bringing a product to market from idea to distribution.
Last week, Sweets by Kids announced its newest sweet treat called the Lemon-der, a delicious lemon lavender cookie.
“All money goes back into Kids Rank so we are able to run all of these different clubs and programs,” said Andrew Washington, a 13-year-old middle school student and member of Sweets by Kids public relations team.
Andrew emphasized that all sales proceeds are reinvested back into the club’s programs and supplies in order to create a successful business and program.
Kids Rank’s mission is to support the physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs of military children through structured activities that encourage resilience. Participants are awarded ribbons in recognition of members’ achievements in categories such as adapt, bravery, courage, and determination to build lifelong skills to successfully meet life’s future challenges.
“The entrepreneurial program does a great job at providing the kids with a foundation for basic life skills such as budgeting and public speaking. We want our kids to move forward inspired and with a sense of confidence,” Stacey Reisinger, an Army spouse and program coordinator for Kids Rank, said.
Youth work in teams of finance, logistics, marketing and public relations. In 2018, Sweets by Kids sold over 3,600 cookies wholesale, retail to a local grocery store chain, and to a dozen corporate partners and individuals throughout Illinois. This year the team is determined to drastically increase that number.
Avery Reisinger, 13, is this year’s cookie theme originator as she was inspired by a Lemonade War at her middle school where she served lemon and lavender lemonade. Hence, her inspiration for the Lemon-der cookie.
“I love it because it gives kids the opportunity to make relationships and grow,” Avery said.
Kids Rank Club and Sweets by Kids was the brainchild of Kelcey Liverpool, a military spouse and executive director of the organization.
“It is amazing to watch kids sit in front of corporate organizations such as a major hotel chain and grocery chains, and have confidence to pitch the message (of Sweets by Kids),” said Liverpool of the team participants.
When asked about the future of the organization to reach military kids outside of Illinois, she explained that growth plans are on the horizon.
“We would like to be a national organization. … we have a really good board. … but want to go slow so we do not affect the integrity of the program,” she added.
Want to support military kids in their business journey? Visit Sweets by Kids to purchase the latest product at https://www.kidsrank.org/online-store.