Thursday, March 10, 2011

Custom Rain Barrel Business Project 3/4/11

College Mentors lead a team of high school students in developing a custom design rain barrel business in which residents, businesses and community organizations can order their own attractively decorated rain barrel(s).

Greetings! Since my last entry we have only had one meeting at Neu-Life, however, the business team of “Make It Rain Barrels” has completed a rough draft of its mission statement, goals, and company description on We are now moving into the actual business design portion of the project which is a daunting task since none of us (including myself) have ever designed the layout for a business. I have been thinking about this task over the past couple of weeks, doubting my ability to adeptly lead the students and successfully complete our task, I needed help! Just days after having these thoughts/fears run through my head, Laura sent out an email saying that we were going to be getting help from three new mentors from UWM! (My prayers were answered! Ha-ha) The role of these new mentors is solely to design, polish, and initiate the business plan/design for “Make It Rain Barrels.” So, now we have the opportunity to become more efficient, productive, and capable of completing our task… It’s going to be an exciting next couple of weeks!
-Bryce McCourt

Our last meeting (February 17th) was, in my eyes... the most successful yet! After the students were split into 3 groups, deciding between the design team, marketing team and business team their motivation seemed to alter. I chose to be the leader of the design team and the students involved were more focused and had a lot more energy towards the project once split into specific focus points. Our team first started off with an ice breaker to break up the silence, but as soon as it ended the ideas starting flying!
We are planning to create a look book for our future clients which will be organized according to what designs and colors we offer. The team also came up with a fabulous idea to create a logo just for Lead to Succeed Rain Barrels. We researched different ways to paint and found out that the easiest may actually be spray paint with stencils. In our next session we are focusing on the planning behind our ideas, which includes focusing on where our paint will come from and what kind is the best to use. As well as focusing on our proposal to local paint stores to possibly get some accessories donated, such as plastic tarps, nurse masks, and sturdy card board for the outlines of the logo. The three groups are planning on presenting our progress in the next session, that way we can all be on the same page. My team is finally excited about their projects and I am so excited to see what they come up with!

-Kelly Crowley
This week with our students we brainstormed ideas as to what to put on our rain barrels. The students came up with a great idea to find pictures of many different things, such as animals, sports teams, etc. and make a catalog (look book) of all of these pictures, and allowing potential buyers to choose what they want on their custom rain barrels. The students are very excited to start the process of building the rain barrels. Progress is definitely being made and the students are really stepping up to the challenge.

-Sarah Hanson
As lead to succeed students continue to work on their projects, I would like to make sure that you are well informed of what they are accomplishing. This week we worked on a private/public activity and brainstorming. So far, this is what has been going on: Only one student showed up on Thursday, so we were limited on our brainstorming for ideas on the rain barrels, but we did not lose hope.  We came up with the idea to have themes of sports, animals, flowers, etc. A thought that came to mind that was very interesting was to come up with something called a "controlled random", which would be almost totally random, but have a sense of a controlling purpose of the design.
- Codee Sigler

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