Local Summer Program produces four young entrepreneurs

Robin Bradshaw
rbradshaw1@gatehousemedia.com
Students during this summers' Rural School Innovation Zone (RSIZ) grant program in coordination with the Los Mestinos Career Academy and Craft Training Center in Woodworking at Falfurrias High School.

A new business’ is what four soon to be senior high school students have going on- after using the skills they learned from this summers Rural School Innovation Zone (RSIZ) grant program in coordination with the Los Mestinos Career Academy and Craft Training Center in Woodworking.

The program provided resources for local students between the ages of 14-18 enrolled in the Premont Collegiate High School, Freer High School or Brooks County districts for a summer work opportunity. Local students could earn a weekly wage, learn and receive certifications for employment in carpentry and industrial careers.

Their mission is to provide rural school districts with the same high quality opportunities as the more prominent cities and reinvent the rural education experience. The program offers a variety of trade programs at the different high school campuses for young people to learn skills to support themselves with future employment with the joined community resources to support their efforts.

The business known as Djlj Woodworking, is named after the four partnered entrepreneurs first letters of their first names: Darin Rogers, Jordan Gonzalez, Luis Chavera and Joey Naranjo.

The four have decided to take their new found knowledge along with some hard work and try their hand in the business world.

“The business started off a little slow the first week but has picked up in sales recently,” said Gonzalez.

The four are now busy buying new materials to fill their online orders since recently selling ten new pieces. The recent orders are showcased on their newly created marketing Facebook page titled Djlj Woodworking. The page displays their handmade wood furniture for the interested buyer.

"The RSIZ program, or as we call it the “Zone” paid us a small wage this summer during the program and we -as a group of friends had a great time learning and making a little money," said business owner Jordan Gonzalez. "We made money to learn and now we’re making more money with the skills we have learned.“

“I am interested in building things and will be moving towards a degree in architectural engineering, so this is a great start for me."

“It makes my heart happy to see these group of young men take their knowledge and continue to use the skills we helped provide, it is very rewarding,” said the Woodworking Class Instructor Megan Kolbe. “This is a great summer opportunity for students, we provide knowledge and the certifications to help increase their potential employment.”

The class of this summers' Rural School Innovation Zone (RSIZ) grant program in coordination with the Los Mestinos Career Academy and Craft Training Center in Woodworking at Falfurrias High School with Instructor Raul Chapa.