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Young solution for old problem

Young solution for old problem

Left - R.A.R.E Production Director 17 year old Isaac Hudson (Otaki College); Right – R.A.R.E Communications Director 16 year old Cameron Sturley of Freyberg High School.

A group of teenagers from around the region have come together to solve the age-old problem of students losing their things.

Nine entrepreneurial Year 12 and 13 students studying one day week with U-Skills Trades Academy created an innovative reusable book cover product so that “oi, do you have a pen I can borrow” is a question of the past.

Operating as Recycled and Reused Enterprises (R.A.R.E), the group come together one day a week at UCOL in Palmerston North to study towards Business programmes, exploring career options and making connections while earning NCEA credits.

R.A.R.E Communications Director, 16 year old Pohangina resident Cameron Sturley from Freyberg High School says the book covers contain pockets for storing personal belongings, and a sleek and fashionable design using recycled materials.

“We believe the product solves multiple problems - helping forgetful teenagers and students, making books and outfits look fabulous, and because all the material we use is sourced from second-hand shops and donations there is less environmental waste.”

The R.A.R.E team, comprised of students from as far afield as Taihape and Otaki as well Masterton and Palmerston North, and home-schooled students, recently made it into the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Dragon's Den final, scoring 80 points out of 100 overall for their product and pitch.

“It is a great experience, and at this stage we intend to keep the business going after we finish up with U-Skills in September.” Mr Sturley says. “I would like to be my own CEO one day so I am enjoying seeing how businesses work and thinking about whether it is the area of study I want to go into.”

Young Enterprise Trust Regional Co-ordinator Richard Dryden says that given the challenges that this team face in terms of geography and lack of time spent together, he is impressed with what R.A.R.E have been able to achieve. “They are also to be commended on their attitudes, taking on feedback from mentors and using it to grow their business nous.”

Five per cent of all profits will go to Canteen, an idea generated by the team to support Production Director Isaac Hudson from Otaki College who overcame a battle with lung cancer after being diagnosed in 2010.

Orders can also be made through the RaRe - Recyled and Reused Enterprises Facebook page. Book covers (to fit a 2B8 book) are $15 each, and there is also a ring binder folder cover option for $17. The team is also creating a line of A5 diary covers with an integrated pocket for cell phones.

The team will officially launch the book cover products in the UCOL Atrium from 11am-1pm on Friday 8 August (this Friday).

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