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Courtesy Photo

Holding Awarded Plaque: Left: Jose Torres, ROP Marketing Class; Right: Lillian Rey, Director El Monte Resource Center Right Side Nick Salerno, El Monte District Superintendent and Carolyn Roper-Conley, ROP Marketing Class Instructor Left Side: Robin Torres, Principal; Edith Echeverria, ROP Director; and Laura Hernandez ROP Marketing Class

by Carolyn Roper-Conley

El Monte

El Monte High School is in the Community in a wholesome way. In December of 2013, students enrolled in the ROP (Regional Occupational Program) Marketing and Small Business Management Classes embarked on another Cookie Fundraising effort to make a difference in the community at large.  These students raised $2,400 that was donated to the El Monte Resource Center.  This non-profit organization’s purpose is to help Homeless Families and Abused Women in the City of El Monte.  Under the leadership of Director Lillian Rey, the monies bought food and clothing for needy families in the community.
These ROP classes truly partnered with the community at-large.  They actively learned, in a participatory way, academics of business.  Not only did they began to understand what it takes to run and manage an organization (non-profit & profit), but what is meant by social responsibility.  Companies large and small in the U.S. are well aware that helping organizations like the El Monte Resource Center is what being an American is “all about.”
So how did these students raise these funds?  During the months of October and November of 2013, students were asked to sell 4 containers each of the Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough.  Popular flavors ranged from Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Cranberry, Strawberry Shortcake, and Butter Sugar.  It helped that this cookie brand is a favorite and very familiar and loved by many who’ve tasted the cookies.  The students forged ahead fearlessly even though many met with a “no” but found success by practicing sales techniques taught in Ms. Roper-Conley’s  ROP classes.  The classes were required to structure the classes like a business including class officers along with group leaders.  The groups competed with each other (competition a key aspect in business) to sell the most never forgetting the purpose of the fundraiser. Teachers, parents, neighbors, and El Monte School District employees pitched in including Superintendent Nick Salerno purchasing over 4 containers himself.  In the ROP (part of Categorical Programs) office directed by Edith Echeverria containers were purchased.   Many of the students sold more than 4 where some could only manage to sell one.  By interactively involving themselves with this fundraiser, they truly learned through experience what it takes to run and keep a business operating successfully.
In closing kudos to site directors like Robin Torres, Principal of El Monte High for allowing this fundraising effort to take place.  So extra, extra, you’ve now have read all about it!

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