Students hear from business leaders

Published 12:01 am Friday, November 18, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Gary Small, owner of the area McDonald’s, discusses entrepreneurship with Vidalia High School students during the Entrepreneurs Day event Thursday afternoon at the Vidalia Convention Center.

Vidalia — Concordia Parish 11th graders got a glimpse of the real world Thursday during Entrepreneurs Day at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.

The students rotated around to seven speakers from the Miss-Lou that either own their business or play a key part in the process of owning a business.

Gary Small owns three McDonald’s chains in Natchez and one in Vidalia and said the most important thing for the students to take away from his presentation is preparation.

“If they want to own their own business at some time, they have to become part of the workforce to acquire knowledge and to acquire funds,” Small said. “The most successful business people built what they had from the ground up.”

Vidalia High School students listen as Small discusses business ownership.

Small said letting students hear from someone who has real world experience is extremely important.

“I think anytime you can get a member of the business community to talk to young folks at this age, it makes an impact,” Small said. “They may not latch onto every word, but hopefully something will strike a chord with them when they go out into the work force and go out thinking about what they want to do with their lives.”

Jasmine Lewis, a junior at Ferriday High School, works at Sonic and said she is more confident about achieving her goals after hearing all the speakers.

“I learned that you can do anything you want to do if you try and if you put education first,” Lewis said. “If you work hard at your job you never know what you can be.”

Dartavious Bethley, a junior at Ferriday High School, hopes to pursue a career in technology and said he thought Small’s presentation was great motivation.

“He just told us that anything is possible if you set your mind to it,” Bethley said. “And that you have to have good credit.”