NEWS — October 31, 2020 at 9:10 pm

Seniors from MSD Hospitality Entrepreneurship class create ‘Smile Senders’ company

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Seniors from the Hospitality Entrepreneurship class at MSD have started their own company. Photo courtesy of Annie Pretner
Seniors from the Hospitality Entrepreneurship class at MSD have started their own company. Photo courtesy of Annie Pretner

Every year, seniors in the Hospitality 4 class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School start their own company. These seniors are part of the Junior Achievement Fellows program, which holds a competition with various schools given the task of creating and carrying out their own companies.

“Smile Senders” is the company that this year’s seniors have chosen. Though the members are all part of DECA at MSD, the project is not through DECA, but instead Junior Achievement. The group of 44 students involved work to create a company presentable to a panel of judges. At the end of the year, they liquidate the company and split the profits.

The company is entirely run by the students in hospitality teacher Mitchell Albert’s Hospitality Entrepreneurship class. They have meetings in class and conduct other calls as needed. “Smile Senders” has nine officers total, with senior Jacob Foster as the president.

“When the class was deciding on a product to create, a common theme was that we wanted something to make people happy and communicate with one another during the pandemic,” Foster said. “We decided that the best way to accomplish this was to allow people to send gifts to each other, letting them know that there is someone out there that cares about them.”

Everyone in the company came to the conclusion that they wanted to create products that would brighten people’s days. This thought created the idea of care packages, which would allow individuals to communicate safely with one another during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gift boxes will contain high-quality items available for purchase, which are still in the process of being chosen. A portion of their profits will be donated to charity, furthering their mission of making the world a better place.

“We offer a care package full of various items that you can send to anyone in the United States to let them know you are still there, although you may not be able to see them because of the current circumstances,” Marianna Gutierrez, Vice President of the Brand Marketing Department, said.

“Smile Senders” is currently in the development phase and is working to provide a safe way to assemble their boxes in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. They will be releasing more information on their social media accounts soon.

They can be found @smilesendersJA on Twitter and Facebook, and @smilesenders on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat.

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Ivy Lam is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is the Coordinator of Press Releases for DECA, the secretary for HOSA and an Assistant EIC for the Eagle Eye newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing and traveling.

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