By TCS Parent Samantha Hodgkins
I dove into entrepreneurship relatively late in my life, creating and launching my own consumer brand start-up (SparkFire Active) over the past couple years, after a long, productive career working for others to grow businesses that were mostly large and established. But my spirit and skills were always rooted in growth, design and development, and innovation. So it is no wonder that when I embarked on the journey of founding and building my own business, it was vital to me that it be based on value and impact for a greater good, far more than just a product on a shelf. I launched on a path of social entrepreneurship, creating a for-profit, for-good business before the term even really existed in today’s business vernacular. And it has been my guiding light.
When my older daughter Payton was preparing to start eighth grade at The Children’s School as part of the pioneering, inaugural class and the capstone initiative of social entrepreneurship for the curriculum was announced, I was thrilled. Having experienced start-up life side-by-side with me, Payton has seen first-hand the passion, commitment, and resilience it takes to launch a new venture. She has experienced the combination of creativity, analytics, interpersonal communications, technical development, customer understanding, salesmanship, and so much more necessary to solve problems and create solutions. Now, she will have the opportunity to explore and create a plan of her own, developing those skills and experiencing that excitement herself.
Even more compelling to me is the integration across the entire TCS curriculum that fosters and engrains a social entrepreneurial mindset across all ages, from the earliest learners all the way through the Middle Grades. My younger daughter, Tamara, is benefitting in third grade from this in ways that deeply engage her love of math, science, and design, positively keeping her excited and curious at an age when girls often start to drop off in these areas in traditional school environments.
As the mother of two daughters, nothing is more important to me than seeing my girls continue to grow in their strength, confidence, and passion. With the social entrepreneurship program at TCS, my hope is that they will learn a few core life lessons that will carry them far in this world:
- There are no absolute right / wrong answers.
- Creating is powerful!
- Every person has the ability to make the world better, so be known by the problems you solve.
Parent of Payton & Tamara
Founder & Chief FireStarter, SparkFire Active