Associate Professor of Marketing Giles Jackson, Ph.D., recently co- published, with friend Brian Cunningham and cousin Lizzy Duncan, the first-ever, entrepreneurial-minded preschool book, “Camila’s Lemonade Stand.” The book was born from the company, My Career Launcher (MCL), co-founded by Jackson (COO) and Cunningham (CEO). The company’s mission, and the goal of the lessons found in “Camila’s Lemonade Stand,” is “to empower children with an entrepreneurial mindset, and help them find and pursue paths where they can use it for the greatest good, i.e., for the benefit of themselves, their families, their communities, their nation and the planet.”
Camila and her friends are the Career Launcher Crew, described by the book as “seven fearless children in search of their futures.” The plot centers around a problem that Camila must solve by starting a business: A fair is in town with a thrilling ferris wheel, but Camila doesn’t have any money to ride it. Through foresight, adaptability and perseverance, she becomes a successful entrepreneur and, in the end, has enough money to ride the ferris wheel with her Career Launcher Crew friends.
“Camila’s Lemonade Stand” is garnering rave reviews among parents and educators and is beginning to receive national publicity. MCL will continue to develop “a full spectrum series of books designed to open the eyes of preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school and college students to exciting possibilities that await them,” said Dr. Jackson.
The impetus for this entrepreneurial series of books grew out of Cunningham’s concern over a “crisis of aspiration” within the nation’s educational system. Though Cunningham found great entrepreneurial success later in life, he experienced a lack of guidance and motivation to dream big in the formative years of his education. The founding of MCL is an attempt to address this deficit, beginning with “Camila’s Lemonade Stand.” Jackson said, “We believe, in this age of uncertainty, the best insurance a child can have is an empowering, future-oriented, entrepreneurial mindset.” It is their hope that through these books, educators, parents and grandparents will gain the tools to discuss entrepreneurial themes.
A true collaborative effort, Jackson and Cunningham continue to work with experts in education, literacy and publishing from around the globe. Duncan, living on the outskirts of London, worked as illustrator and also helped in story development. Their team of experts will soon include more Shenandoah faculty members.
The next book in the series will be released in spring 2014, and it will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “Camila’s Lemonade Stand” is available for purchase on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.