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The Utica Campus of Hinds Community College recently hosted 15 future business owners during a 10-day Dream Builders Entrepreneurship Institute. The participants were high school students from Jackson, Hazlehurst, Utica, Terry and Harrisville.

During the Institute, students were divided into teams and were given assignment and projects to complete. They participated in seminars, workshop and simulations on a daily basis, all of which were designed to stimulate, strengthen and increase their ideas and skills in producing a successful business.

During the last week of the Institute, the groups implemented the business plan that included purchasing the products, marketing and selling.The three groups were set up on campus and sold their goods for three days. The businesses included HighTrendality, an accessories and apparel company; Healthy Treats, a healthy foods company, and Da Snack Shack, a snack company.

Of the three business groups, Da Snack Shack was the most successful, with a 49 percent profit. Members of that group were Allyson Banks from Hazlehurst High School, Breykia Cooper and Joshua Gandy from Raymond High School and Randy Smith and Shandria Sutton from Hazlehurst High School.

The institute culminated with each group giving a presentation of skills developed during the nine-day Dream Builders Entrepreneurship Institute.

The Dream Builders Entrepreneurship Institute is sponsored with Title III funds. Dr. Tiffany Anderson is coordinator of Title III. Jessica Smith, business entrepreneurship director, coordinates the Institute.

Members and consultants of the Dream Builders Entrepreneurship Institute are, front from left, Jonnese Goings, consultant, Port Gibson High School; Brieanne Brown, Raymond High School; Shandria Sutton, Stacey Porter and MyJewels Bates, Hazlehurst High School; and Cordasha Bland, Raymond High School; middle row, Delesha Butler, Hinds AHS; Derek Taylor and Miyah Little, Terry High School; Jennifer Smith, Mendenhall High School and Allyson Banks, Hazlehurt
High School.; back, Joshua Gandy and Breykia Cooper, Raymond High School; Randy Smith, Titus Smith and Johnathan Lynch, Hazlehurt High School and Jeremiah Thomas, consultant, Crystal Springs High School.

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