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It’s All Business For Wyckoff Students

Elena Cordova and Alexa Shoiock participated in the TREP$ marketplace in Wyckoff.
Elena Cordova and Alexa Shoiock participated in the TREP$ marketplace in Wyckoff. Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson
Ryan Willemann and Jack Bellantone started a company to offer tech help to seniors.
Ryan Willemann and Jack Bellantone started a company to offer tech help to seniors. Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson
Cole Duschang , Dylan Bodart and Kyle Zicherman sold brownies at the TREP$ marketplace in Wyckoff.
Cole Duschang , Dylan Bodart and Kyle Zicherman sold brownies at the TREP$ marketplace in Wyckoff. Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson
Lily Wagner sold hand-knit scarves and homemade bookmarks at the TREP$ marketplace in Wyckoff.
Lily Wagner sold hand-knit scarves and homemade bookmarks at the TREP$ marketplace in Wyckoff. Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson

WYCKOFF, N.J. – A pair of Wyckoff 12-year-olds stood behind a table packed with cell phone cases and adornments.

Alexa Shoiock and Elena Cordova, seventh graders at Eisenhower Middle School, were in the school’s multipurpose room running their very own business: Funky Fhones.

“We know phone cases could cost a lot of money, so we wanted to sell them for a little cheaper,” said Shoiock, holding a case in her hand. “This one is only $6, rather than a $40 Kate Spade.”

The girls were selling pre-decorated cases, as well as ones that customers could decorate themselves. They were among about 200 students participating in their school’s TREP$ Marketplace.

The marketplace was the culmination of the school’s first year of TREP$ . Short for young enTREPreneurS, the program teaches kids how to start their own businesses. Leading up to the market, students participated in workshops to learn about entrepreneurship, money, marketing, advertising and sales.

Across the room from Funky Fhones, Dylan Bodart, Kyle Zicherman and Cole Duschang were selling homemade brownies.

“We did the math and we figured out how many brownies we would have to sell to make a profit,” Bodart explained.

Tara DiScala, a seventh grade science teacher, brought TREP$ to the school. She said kids have been talking about the market “for months and months.”

“I knew we would have a good turnout, but this is even better than I could have expected,” she said, looking around a gymnasium packed with holiday shoppers and student salespeople.

The students sold items ranging from hand-knit scarves, blankets and bath products to henna tattoos and tie dye socks. A few students even set up a pay-to-play Nerf shooting range.

Ryan Willemann and Jack Bellantone tapped into a need with their company, JR Tech Help.

“We are doing a service for seniors and grandparents to get them used to their devices,” Willemann explained.

The boys were offering classes at the library to teach seniors how to better use their cell phones and tablets.

The modules would cover basic usage, taking and sharing photos, and emailing and using attachments, they said.

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