At my high school, only upperclassmen and students in good academic standing are allowed to leave campus during lunch. Upon getting my driver’s license, I had a dilemma: I needed to earn money for gas and to get lunch off campus with my friends.
However, I am very involved in my school’s music program (I am the Concertmaster for Orchestra, a Drum Major for the Marching Band and take Jazz Band as well). Needless to say I have lots of performances and rehearsals throughout the year, typically 4-5 weekly, which renders it impossible for me to try for a traditional high school job as a cashier somewhere for example.
Profiting Off Pizzas
I found a way to keep up my lifestyle of driving out to lunch with friends while profiting off of the school’s lunch pass policy. I began to order pizzas from a nearby pizzeria. After my friends and I finished eating, I would bring back extra slices to sell at a marked up price to the lower classmen who did not want to eat school cafeteria food.
As word spread on campus, I began being known as the pizza guy. With so many students now contacting me, often even a day in advance, business was booming. I started to offer pricing plans, with a discount for customers who pooled their money with their friends to buy a whole pizza instead of just by the slice. I now have so much business that I often call the pizza place the night before to place orders, which are sometimes as many as twelve pizzas.
I make as much as $130 per week and I also get a free lunch daily.
Finding success at my first entrepreneurship, inspired me to find more creative ways to earn money. As I mentioned, I am passionate about music and have an interest in composing both modified cover songs and original works. I wrote and performed a series of parody tracks for my own album called Minecraft Songs that I uploaded to YouTube (you should check it out).
Using social media, I invited students to listen to and like my channel. The album went somewhat viral, I know that one teacher even had it playing in class while the students were taking a math test and I am not even in that class. I then laid down a second album with all new songs. I created hype on social media about this album’s release date, only this time it was available in CD format for $5 each with the first 100 customers also getting, you guessed it, a free slice of pizza with their purchase.
In the first week I made over $100 in sales.
While I cannot tell you my exact plans for the future, I am inspired by Elon Musk for his vision, drive, and interest in so many different endeavors – he is fearless to imagine bold solutions to global problems. I, too, am a jack of all trades with interests in music, math, sports, and science. I want to pursue all of these passions, to make the world a better place and to make people laugh.
Whatever I end up pursuing, I know I’m going to be successful because I am not afraid to take chances. There were two mottos my mom ingrained me: “it never hurts to try” and “do your best and have fun”. I think of these often to give me the courage to be adventurous in my pursuits, not take myself too seriously, to accept challenges and to welcome the unknown. I approach everything with this attitude, including this competition – I had fun writing my story, I did my best and it didn’t hurt to try.
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Check out the other finalists here: 2018 Side Hustlin’ Student Scholarship Results Page.