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Charles Spencer High School student-entrepreneurs open a student-led store

June 08, 2021

On Thursday, June 3, 2021, Students at Charles Spencer High School (CSHS) cut the ribbon to open the Maverick Market. The initiative is driven by the Maverick Movement, a student-led club supervised by Ms. Shaylene Penner, a Charles Spencer High School teacher.IMG_2723.JPEG

The Maverick Market is a social enterprise that will generate funding for  Maverick Movement initiatives identified by students while simultaneously developing students' life, business, and leadership skills at CSHS. The store is committed to strengthening the school and the Grande Prairie community by supporting local businesses, being sustainable and inclusive. 

“The opening of the Maverick Market means that the goals I've been working on since grade 9 have become a reality. I'm glad to know that I have put my stamp on a school that has given me so much,” said Seth Bourke, a grade 11 Co-Student Lead of the Maverick Market at CSHS.

“The Maverick Market is special to me because of how sustainable it is. We try to reduce single-use items and plastics, and I love how it is a main pillar of our store. Also, it goes hand in hand with our recycling program,” added Trey Stephenson, a grade 11 Co- Student Lead of the Maverick Market at CSHS.

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Ms. Shaylene Penner shared, “In the simplest terms, the Maverick Market is about providing opportunity. This store facilitates opportunities for students to grow as people and make practical use of what they learn in class. The Market will promote the Maverick culture of our school and create a bridge between the school and the local community. I am proud of our students for their leadership, hard work and shameless idealism. The road to get here was long, filled with ups and downs, and there were times where we didn’t know if it would all come together. Yet here we are, in a year where it would be least expected. Our students have learned that with resilience and a dream, they are unstoppable, and there is nothing they can’t do with the support of others.”

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Inclusive

The opening of the Maverick Market will support school programming and school operations in a variety of ways. For example, our business classes will oversee all the business end of the store operations (promotions, what items to sell in the store, inventory, developing and sustaining partnerships, accounting and financial management, etc.). By working on this project, students will earn credits towards their high school graduation and will develop valuable skills for use after high school.

Local

The store brings the local community and the school community together through a program called “the community counter.” This counter space is essentially a mobile store where our students will identify local businesses and invite them to sell and promote their products. We are grateful to the many local businesses that have donated items to start up the store and to support our students.  

Sustainable 

The Maverick Movement is a leadership and social justice group that supports issues such as clean water, food security, creating opportunities for sustainable jobs, health, and education, in the pursuit of breaking the cycle of poverty. Everything in the store has been considered through the lens of sustainability, including choice in cups, the origins and ethical sourcing of products and creating a reusable cup program. Additionally, this exciting new social enterprise provides the opportunity to bring our initiatives full circle. For example, the store will generate funds to support the school’s equitable access food program, no longer requiring donations and will make a positive difference in the wellbeing of our own students. The store will create opportunities for the students who are actively employed with the operations of the store and indirectly for the students who will use the store, as well as for those involved in creating the products that will be in inventory.

About the Maverick Movement at Charles Spencer High School

The Maverick Movement is a student-led social justice club at Charles Spencer High School involved in philanthropic activities. The club organizes in-school activities and fundraising events to raise awareness of individuals and groups that don't have a voice. The Maverick Movement is open to all interested students at CSHS!

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