Our story

The D.C. Story


Lemonade Day is a national non-profit organization that empowers young entrepreneurs by teaching them business and entrepreneurship skills. Lemonade Day-DC was started by then sophomore Emily Massel, who set out to host the first student-organized Lemonade Day in DC.

Emily learned first hand how Lemonade Day could revolutionize a child’s life after witnessing Lemonade Day in Indianapolis, Indiana. Through a partnership with GWSB Undergraduate Programs, the First Year Development Program adopted Lemonade Day-DC as their service- learning project, leading to University-wide support for the initiative.


The format of Lemonade Day-DC makes it unique from other Lemonade Days across the country. We are taking the DC project to the next level by pairing university students with local youth to offer a unique mentorship and learning opportunity. Through this project, we are impacting both local youth and college students through this service-learning. The college students were charged to empower and educate the District of Columbia’s 4th -7th graders.

In 2013, 430 first year and transfer students from the George Washington University School of Business, in conjunction with the Lemonade Day Student Organization served over 800 students at schools and recreation centers throughout the District. More than 600 GWU students taught lessons on vital skills such as budgeting, marketing, entrepreneurship, and how to identify and reimburse a lender.  The program culminated in Lemonade Day, during which the participating youth built their lemonade stands, sold their products, made a profit, and experienced entrepreneurship firsthand.

In the third year, Lemonade Day 2015 was the most successful to date, totaling 2,200 youth participants and 100s of stands throughout the District.


  1. To provide trained mentors with the curriculum to any teacher or youth leader that requests it.

  2. To have a strong presence in each of DC’s eight wards.

  3. To make the program accessible to all families and DC students in grades 4 through 7 .

  4. To provide students, who might otherwise not have access, with start-up materials for their Lemonade Day stand.

  5. To provide creative opportunities for the community and support young DC entrepreneurs.


The larger vision for Lemonade Day-DC includes expanding the mentor program by establishing University Chapters at each major DC University, implementing the program in all DCPS locations, and enhancing strategic partnerships with community members so that all children in DC have the opportunity to experience opening their own business.


Lemonade Day has both mentored and non-mentored youth participants. Non-mentored participants sign-up through our website and pick up the materials from a community partner who chooses to serve as a Distribution Center or hold a Registration Event. All are encouraged to register and participate in the non-mentored Lemonade Day! Mentors work with classrooms, after school programs, and other youth institutions to facilitate the program. Teachers will request mentors for their classrooms, register their entire class, and return permission slips to the LDDC team by a specified date.

Lemonade Day tries to accommodate the preferences of both teachers and youth leaders, and so the structure for each site differs. However, the most traditional mentored site structure is 3 to 5 sessions, each 1-2 hours in length.

Find out more about our GW mentoring program


What do kids learn by participating in Lemonade Day?

  • Capital equipment
  • Consumables
  • Supply & demand
  • Credit, debt, gross & net income
  • Marginal utility
  • Return on investment
  • Compound interest
  • Critical thinking & collaboration
  • Interest in attending college
  • Civic responsibility
  • Customer service
  • Teamwork & problem solving
  • Presentation skills & design
  • Leadership
  • Belief that attaining goals is within reach
  • Personal productivity
  • Self-direction & time management
  • Social responsibility & charity
  • High order thinking
  • Social skills & self confidence
  • Math calculations
  • Reading & interpreting data
  • Oral & written communication

80% of Lemonade Day 2018 participants plan to participate again in 2019!