Students become entrepreneurs

Published 01/23 2013 05:27PM

Updated 01/23 2013 06:34PM

CHAMPAIGN -- High schoolers are getting help turning their dreams into reality. Some students are their way. They're writing up business plans and starting menus. All with the help of a new entrepreneurship program. The program connects business leaders with students.

Ten students were chosen and matched with business owners. They will be mentors to empower students and give them specific tools to reach their goals.

"When I was really little, I cooked with my mom," Molly Blazier said.

It's what inspired Central High School junior, Molly Blazier, to want to open her own restaurant.  

"I like helping and giving back and just creating different relationships," Blazier said.

Mix that with her love of baking and she says she's got the perfect recipe for owning a business. Her mentor is Rob Meister who owns Minneci's Ristorante.

"Programs like these are going to be something that is an absolute way of the future," Meister said.

Blazier watches and learns the tricks of the trade, but she already has ideas of her own.

"I want to call it local."

The soup and pasta restaurant will showcase local talent.

"Who I am and where I've grown up, I think compliment each other a lot," Blazier said.

Imani Maatuka is a sophomore at Central.

"I really want to make an event-planning business."

Her goal is to throw an end-of-the-year party for the school.

"Teen drug use, teen violence and teen pregnancy are really common around here. I wanted to give them another outlook."

Both teens say they know what they want out of life and will do whatever they can to make it happen.

"It's been a dream of mine. If you only have one life to live, I suppose you better make it worth something," Blazier said.

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