McGavock students are raising awareness, money and business skills

A group of McGavock High School students is running a business and making a difference at the same time. To raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, they created Teen Safety Enterprises, a legal, for-profit company managed and run by their business class through the Junior Achievement Company Program in partnership with the Entrepreneur Center Youth Initiative.

“We all know you shouldn’t text and drive, but way too many teenagers do it anyway,” said Mattea Baskin, a McGavock senior and president of Teen Safety Enterprises. “Texting and driving puts you and everybody else on the road at risk. It’s just not worth it.”

Baskin and her classmates created a PSA video to launch their campaign and posted it on the company’s website. To keep their message on students’ minds, the team designed a key chain with a simple reminder: “DNT TXT N DRV.”

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Don't Text and Drive KeychainNow they need help from local businesses and community members to get their product in the hands of every high school student in Metro Schools – that’s about 20,000 key chains. Sponsors can make a donation through the website, and every $2 donated will purchase one key chain.

Thanks to sales and donations, the students have already raised enough money to give key chains to all 6,000 juniors in Metro schools, plus the entire student bodies of McGavock and Cane Ridge high schools. Nearly 9,000 key chains are in production and set for distribution in March.

“It has been incredible to watch high school students build a company within the Business Academy program and witness their idea turn into a fully operational business,” said McGavock High School Executive Principal Robbin Wall. “We’re incredibly proud of their efforts and excited to watch the community rally around this project.”

From a press release:

About Teen Safety Enterprises “Teen Safety Enterprises, a Junior Achievement Company” is a legal, for-profit entity created, managed and run by students at McGavock High School in the US Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance through the Junior Achievement Company Program and in partnership with the Entrepreneur Center. The Academies of Nashville program is a Metro Nashville Public Schools structure designed to increase students’ engagement and academic performance and to prepare students for college and careers after graduation. Two McGavock Academies--the Gaylord Opryland Academy of Hospitality/the U.S. Community Credit Union Academy of Business & Finance, and the CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication-- earned the highest certification level as “model” academies from the National Career Academy Coalition in 2012.

Junior Achievement Company Program is a 14-week volunteer-led curriculum that helps mentor student-led companies. During the program, students turn their idea into a legally incorporated business, source products, sell and liquidate the company to create a return on investment for its shareholders. There are 10 active Company Programs across Metro Nashville Public Schools.

The Entrepreneur Center is partnered with the Academy of Hospitality and Finance at McGavock as part of its Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative and community outreach. EC mentors are mentoring two companies at McGavock, including Teen Safety Enterprises. The EC has an active Youth Initiative with programs for high school, college and graduate students interested in entrepreneurship. For more information on the Teen Safety Enterprises or Junior Achievement Company Program, please call Andy Schenck with Junior Achievement at (615) 627-1186 or Clay Jackson with Travel Innovations Group at (615) 202-0105.