Forest Lake students learn economics in action

Students not expecting to hear “you’re fired” during this apprentice program
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Sumo suits and deep fried delights are serving an educational purpose today at Forest Lake Christian School as students compete in their own version of the reality TV show “The Apprentice.” Travis Smith, government and economics teacher, said he came up with the idea for students to create their own food business and donate the proceeds to charity to teach them economics hands-on eight years ago. “I have seniors and it is the second half of their senior year and we want to keep them engaged,” Smith said. “It’s been really a huge success here at Forest Lake because the students get hands-on in all of these principles. They are starting a mini business for a month and have their business open for one day.” Students create everything from the type of food they will sell, to advertising concepts and pricing. They open up their business during lunch on Friday and sell their products to fellow students. This year the seniors will be donating their hard-earned dollars to Courage To Be You, a Rocklin-based organization that helps victims of sex-trafficking. “They have been advertising for the last couple of weeks and marketing themselves,” Smith said. “Each group sees what happened the year before and wants to outdo the groups before them.” To attract students to their booth, members of The Golden Dragon group, Olivia Mains, Bella Curtis, Shane Soria and Jessica Schoellerman will be offering sumo suit fights for $5. Mains said aside from learning how to market orange chicken and gluten-free teriyaki bowls, she has learned valuable lessons. “Working together as a team and having the chance to really be creative,” Mains said. “Three of the people in our group are artists, too. It’s been really fun for us to think outside of the box and work on some of the skills we will take to college.” Mains said raising money for Courage To Be You is a cause close to her heart. Some of her family friends from Rocklin started the organization Agape International, which helps rescue victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia. She plans on visiting Cambodia to join the cause this summer. “I think just being a woman, I can’t image going through any of that,” Mains said. “I think there is a personal level of hurt I feel toward those women and I want them to know the love of God.” Members of the Fried group, Christina Parker, Anneka Christensen, Annie Mack and Anna Griffith, are sticking true to their name and offering a variety of deep-fried foods. Parker, who aspires to become a nutritionist, said the deep-fried pizza, snickers, bacon and soda were OK in moderation. “The whole idea of our group was that we wanted to sell something that you couldn’t get every day,” Parker said. “I feel like it’s a lot more work than I anticipated and you really have to plan ahead and be good with your communication skills and present yourself in a professional way.” She said the project has shown her what her and her peers are capable of. Mains said while it would be fun to be the winning group, she hopes all of the groups do well. “Everyone is doing a really good job this year. I am hoping everyone is successful and nobody is negative. I think ultimately in the senior class it’s more about how much money we can raise for Courage To Be You.” Reach Sara Seyydin at, or follow her on Twitter at AJ_News.