Bronx Compass is a public high school in the Soundview section of the Bronx in New York City. At our school we encourage students to create quality and meaningful work by connecting the products of their work with real-world audiences. Collectively planning and running the clothing company will enable students to apply learning from a range of disciplines to the task at hand: Running a business that designs and produces high-quality and stylish apparel for NYC Public Schools.
This project has important social and economic benefits. By learning to plan and run a cooperative business, students will learn leadership and entrepreneurial skills. In addition to actually OWNING their business, students will learn how to work with others and start other businesses in the future. Once the business is up and running the student-owners will be generating wealth and creating jobs. This is especially critical considering that our school is located in a high-unemployment, high-poverty area. To help ensure the business' success, Bronx Compass is committed to purchasing its student uniforms and other apparel from the student-run cooperative. Finally, the profits from the business will be equitably distributed among all its student-owners.
How We Will Use Your Money?
In order to plan and implement this project, we are working with Green Worker Cooperatives (GWC), a Bronx-based nonprofit organization with ten years of experience developing worker-owned green businesses. This campaign will fund GWC's work with our students throughout the 2[phone redacted] school year. GWC will be teaching a weekly class that guides students through the business planning process, culminating in the production of a high-quality business plan for the cooperative clothing company. Upon completion of the business plan, students will initiate a round of fundraising to support the opening of their business. Our goal is to have the business fully operational by the start of the 2014 school year. All funds we raise will directly support GWC's educational work with our students.
Why Bronx Compass?
In addition to our commitment to connect student work to real-world audiences, we have also invested heavily as a school in the resources students need to create high-level products. In the context of this project that means that students will have access to: a studio art class in which they are taught how to use design tools like InDesign; two full-time studio art teachers; and silk screening equipment and laptop computers.
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