February 28, 2013 9:20 pm

Columbine High School, participating for the second year with The FIRE Within, a youth entrepreneurship program in partnership with Junior Achievement and the Second Wind Fund, ratcheted their business plan up a notch with a goal to increase the reach of their “Living United” message to teens across the state of Colorado.  The mission of the Combine Columbine company “seeks to help people who suffer from feeling isolated by uniting communities throughout the nation.  By doing this, we show our love and support to each other.”

The student company cemented a deal with the DECA State Leadership Conference so all 3,000 participants wore lanyards printed with the inspirational message that also included the DECA logo. At the kick off ceremony, the company’s success was highlighted with a video from their website which they created for the project. The company has also sold 3,000 lanyards to the FBLA State Leadership Conference in April. Next step is to create customized lanyards with their message to sell to school groups around the state.

“The FIRE Within program that we have participated in the past two years has made a huge impact on my students and the community,” said Bryan Halsey, teacher at Columbine High School.  “This program allows students to learn how to start, run, and grow a business.  With the help of JA Be Entrepreneurial, students go through all of the basic aspects of starting a business and making it flourish.  I love how the business community comes along side of us in so many ways which enables the students to have a real hands-on experience unlike any other high school class.”

Note about The FIRE Within program:
The FIRE Within program inspires student leaders to create businesses that reduce the risk of teen suicide. After doing research to determine the drivers of suicide distress in their community, classes worked to create a product or service they could sell that would address the root cause. With products ranging from books to lanyards to headphones and wristbands, students created plans to make effective, sustainable, profitable, and innovative businesses that further the cause of suicide prevention in their communities.

If you are interested in bringing the FIRE Within program to your school or community, please contact Jess Stohlman, director of the FIRE Within program (jess@carsonjspencer.org).

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