Although one of W.C. Fields most famous quotes is “Never work with animals or children,” he secretly admired children. I love children! Otherwise, why would I be the leader of an organization that is all about watching children have great experiences learning to run their own business and changing the trajectory of their lives. And then to watch them step forward in a completely new role of spokesperson testifying in front of a Texas State House committee, well let me just say that I was blown away yet again by their poise and confidence in front of legislators. How many adults ever get an experience like this?
A few weeks ago, I blogged about several local and state governments who are proposing legislation to remove the permitting requirements for children who want to run a lemonade stand or sell a similar beverage or food product. On Wednesday, February 27, I had the opportunity to watch three of our Lemonade Day entrepreneurs testify in front of a committee who were hearing opinions for or against House Bill 234 – making it legal for kids to host a lemonade stand on private property for a “limited time”. If you want to see a room captivated by young entrepreneurs passionate about something, this was it. In fact, here is a snippet of Branson Burton’s, age 8, you can see for yourself. As Texas House Representative Matt Krause, co-author of the bill stated – “As awesome as it looks on video, it was even more impressive in person. I’ve never seen a committee room react the way it did while Branson did his presentation.” Branson’s mom, Brandi, told us “Thank you all again for inviting Branson to be a part of this very cool opportunity to make a difference! It was a day that will be remembered for generations in our family…His confidence is even greater now!”
Our other two witnesses, Mikaila Ulmer of and Sidharth Srinivasan of were equally impressive. To watch these three Lemonade Day alum not only share their love for entrepreneurship and show their appreciation for all the opportunities Lemonade Day has presented to them but also step forward and share how they run their businesses and achieving their dreams, was beyond special.
And the media coverage keeps coming in. Besides the KXAN article, here are a few other media clips: The Austin American Statesman, the Texas Tribune Instagram, the NBC affiliate in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and we even heard that IHeartRadio DJs were having a very lively discussion about how eloquent the kids were.
Yes, I’m not very objective when it comes to Lemonade Day entrepreneurs. But there is no doubt these kids spoke from their hearts because of the experiential learning process that Lemonade Day provides while also sending a strong message to community and state leaders that there shouldn’t need to be legislation that prevents a child from owning a business.
I’ll end this blog with observations by two of colleagues who are truly invested in our youth today. Charlie Hamilton, Lemonade Day National board champion, commented “Thanks for everyone’s help in this effort in making it easier for next generation of entrepreneurs to excel,” and Amanda Sequeira, Lemonade Day City Director for Ft. Hood- Killeen and a member of our national board simply expressed, “From the mouths of babes.”
I’ll keep you updated on the status of HB 234 and all the other bills in committee this year. Hopefully, the next time I can share a group of Lemonade Day supporters in Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office when he signs HB 234 into law.
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