Thursday, February 17, 2011

Student-run School-based businesses are Awesome!

So… what would you do if you were at school and needed twenty dollars?

If you were at McMinnville, you would go to the Bank of the Bear.

The Bank of the Bear is a legitimate branch of Wells Fargo located in the student commons.  The bank is open before school, after school and during lunch and, like the student store and snack bar, is run by the Business Management career pathway. 

Wells Fargo audited and approved the training class that the McMinnville students take for this pathway.  As a part of their class, the kids run the bank, take care of the accounting and are accountable for the books and the cash. 

The Bank of the Bear finances itself with a three-dollar transaction fee on any non-Well Fargo customer.  The bank allows Wells Fargo members to withdraw or deposit funds, and any customer can cash a check.  No ATM’s at this stage of the banks development, but the Bank of the Bear was impressive nonetheless. 

It really works!  Skyline math teacher Ian Garrovillas deposited a check into his account.  “I actually needed to deposit this check and I was wonder when I was going to be able to do that before we flew home, but then I was like, ‘Wow, I could take care of that right here!”

Dave Orphal also tested the services of the Business Management Pathway by withdrawing twenty bucks and buying a McMinnville hat from their student store.  “I was floored,” Orphal gushed.  “I’m a sucker for a good souvenir when I travel, plus, the Grizzly’s colors are black and red like ours.  It was a no brainer.  I think I was most impressed when my transaction didn’t go smoothly at the bank.  The kid did freak out of call for a teacher to solve the problem.  He trouble-shot the situation and got it fixed in minutes; just like a pro would.”

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