County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Junior Achievement Students Present Business Plan Projects to City Council



Cleaver Student Writer

HARRISON-Harrison High School’s Junior Achievement Entrepreneurial Mindset class created two presentations: one about adding a rehabilitation/juvenile detention center and another for adding a fitness center/gym to Harrison. On May 7, they presented their projects to four members representing the city of Harrison: Justin Cavenaugh, city manager; Angela Kellogg-Henry, mayor pro tem; Daniel Sullivan, mayor; and Garret Wood, council member; along with Dr. Judy Walton, Harrison Schools superintendent. This is the first time the school has offered this class. Allison Liposvky is the teacher for this class, and she wanted the class to advocate for something to improve the town. The class devised many ideas but narrowed them down to a rehab/juvenile center and a fitness center. The 22 students were divided into two groups who, starting in December, were preparing for last week's presentations.

The first group presented about adding a fitness center. They thought adding one to Harrison was important because Harrison suffers from a large percentage of its people being obese. There are no fitness centers that are close to Harrison that allow for easy access for everyone, as there were variables of cost, time and driving. A major part of their presentation was making sure that everyone could access the fitness center and promoting better lifestyle habits in the community. To achieve this, they recommended adding a fitness center in an accessible spot within walking distance, such as the Lighthouse Cove lot across from Family Fare. The fitness center would have plenty of room and equipment for at least 50 people to be active. In the summer it would also give students the chance to be more physically active, because after the school year ends, the high school gym closes for them. This allows the younger generation to stay physically active. Along with members of our community, it would also attract people who are visiting Harrison during the spring or summer, such as with day or week passes. Overall, there are a lot of things that can be done with a fitness center to help better the lives of people in Harrison by helping them forge the path to healthier lifestyles.

The second group in the class advocated adding a rehab center that could also be a juvenile detention center. I was part of this group and we saw the large issue of addiction, specifically with drug and alcohol abuse. According to Census Reporter, there is a 33.4% rate of poverty in Harrison which is 1.5 times higher than the poverty rate in Clare County. Addiction can severely damage the lives of substance abusers and the people around them. This can be represented by wasting their paycheck on substances, inflicting physical abuse, performing another crime, and rewiring their brain because of addiction. Our group advocates for a rehab center to help people in Harrison and nearby communities who are suffering from addiction. While a rehab center was our main focus, we also talked about a juvenile detention center. It would be a facility separate from the rehab center but would help kids ages 10-17 with emotional distress, life skills and ethical values. This would give struggling kids and teenagers access to help since the nearest juvenile center is in Midland. We believe that adding this medical facility would make Harrison a safer place.

Many students in the J.A. Entrepreneurial Mindset class have worked hard on the presentations, and they practiced a lot and came a long way to create this final presentation to the city council. Despite being nervous, we were glad to get the opportunity to present to them. We developed thought-out plans with many factors in mind: the what, why, how, costs, grants, health benefits, and how it would help our community. Overall, we were excited to present our ideas and glad that we had this opportunity. 


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