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Motivating Young Minds With an Entrepreneurial Spirit

Motivating Young Minds With an Entrepreneurial Spirit

Published 07-18-22

Submitted by Georgia-Pacific

GP employee Bob Berry talking with a student
GP employee Bob Berry volunteering at Crews Middle School

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., July 18, 2022 /CSRwire/ - You’re never too young to start thinking big! In fact, Rod Hames, a business teacher at Crews Middle School, is counting on it.

Georgia-Pacific employees and other local business professionals recently spent time with some bright students in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

The annual event brought together seventy-one students from Hames' class with forty professional mentors. The students had the chance to pitch their business ideas during one-on-one conversations and learn about real-life entrepreneurial concepts like project management, communication, and steps to turn their ideas into reality. They also received invaluable advice from people like Georgia-Pacific’s Bob Berry, senior category director, and Deborah Baker, retired vice president of sustainable forestry.

Georgia‐Pacific’s employee volunteer program is a network of current and retired employees who make a difference by volunteering for service projects and events in their communities.

“I was so impressed and glad to see an entrepreneurial program moving forward and see it in action and lastly, to be a part of it,” Baker said.

Hames knows the experience inspires his students and prepares them for a shark-tank-style classroom competition. As he puts it, “My purpose is to help students learn how they can add value to everything they do. My goal is to help them know their ‘why.’”

Following the event, one student said, “I learned that I could take the initiative and have all the resources needed to start my business right now and am very capable of doing so.”

Retired GP employee Deborah Baker talking with a student
Retired GP employee Deborah Baker volunteering at Crews Middle School

Georgia-Pacific and its parent company, Koch Industries, support numerous programs to help young minds pursue their passions and develop their skills and talents.

“We speak of virtuous cycles of mutual benefit at Koch,” Berry says. “This program at Crews Middle School is a great example of that concept. These cycles begin when we develop capabilities that enable us to create value for others. We call these cycles virtuous because they benefit all parties, from yourself to society.”

Koch Industries supports the school through funding from a program called ’Empowered.’ Berry says, "Current employees, like me, and retired employees, like Deborah, find fulfillment in helping future entrepreneurs who one day may become employees at a Koch company, a supplier, or a customer.”

We know these students have what it takes to make their dreams come true.

The sky’s the limit!

View original content here.




Based in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging, cellulose, specialty fibers, nonwoven fabrics, building products and related chemicals. Our familiar consumer brands include Quilted Northern®, Angel Soft®, Brawny®, Dixie®, enMotion®, Sparkle® and Vanity Fair®. Georgia-Pacific has long been a leading supplier of building products to lumber and building materials dealers and large do-it-yourself warehouse retailers. Its Georgia-Pacific Recycling subsidiary is among the world’s largest traders of paper, metal and plastics. The company operates more than 150 facilities and employs more than 30,000 people directly and creates approximately 89,000 jobs indirectly. For more information, visit: . For news, visit:

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