Each year at Aspen Academy, all 8th Grade students are paired with entrepreneur mentors, pouring countless hours into bringing their ideas to life: creating a viable business plan with financial statements, marketing their products and services, and producing their final deliverables. The sense of pride, confidence, and joy these students have as a result is palpable. For many of these students, social responsibility is a core aspect of their business.
This year, Alessa Jackson, CEO of Creative Canvas, founded the organization as a non-profit. She produces one-of-a-kind, commissioned splatter-painted canvas artwork, allowing the owners of each piece to determine where the proceeds will go and to have a piece of art that is meaningful and personal to what they care about most.
After funding the company with her own personal savings, Alessa sells each piece of art for $10-$20, with all proceeds going to the cause of the purchaser’s choice. Because each piece is customized, she is able to focus on the specific cause when she’s making the piece: a process that gives her a sense of meaning and fulfillment. She also works with her brother as a result of this project, enabling the two busy teens to have more time together and shaping lifelong memories.
Alessa has included Crohn’s & Colitis Rocky Mountain as a nonprofit she supports through her artwork, and was featured in their recent newsletter, sent to over 8000 constituents!
To learn more about Alessa's work, or to order custom artwork, contact creative.canvas123@
Teenage Business Owners: Learning Lifeskills Early
The AEI curriculum culminates for 8th graders when these create business plans. Most recently, two former students went on to win and place as finalist(s) in Young American’s Center for Financial Education YouthBiz Stars award for businesses they started while at Aspen Academy and have continued to operate (Rudspice & Laney’s Lipcare). With artificial intelligence, advances in technology, and other disruptive forces in the world economy, these students are learning skills that will enable them to be self-sufficient and have a strong financial literacy.
Learn more about the Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute
Over 250+ business have been founded by students at Aspen Academy. Are you a student entrepreneur with a business you'd like to highlight? Please send us an email to be featured in an upcoming Make the World Better Entrepreneur Profile.