This year Paige, a junior at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette Colorado, enrolled in a new class, Innovation and Design. The class, taught by Kristie Letter, was designed to teach students to be creative and innovative through real word experiences. Mrs. Letter encouraged her students to submit innovative and transformative nutrition ideas to Adventure Capital (AdCap). With the help of her teacher’s vision Paige saw the opportunity to transform how her fellow classmates experienced new fruits and vegetables through the Simply Samples project. Paige and four of her classmates shared their transformative ideas with AdCap, and Paige’s Simply Sample project was chosen as one of ten winners nationwide.
AdCap, was created by GENYOUth to inspire, empower and motivate student entrepreneurs, 13 years and older, to use their big ideas to make changes in the health and wellness of their schools and communities. Domino’s teamed up with AdCap to offer an amazing one of a kind opportunity to ten young entrepreneurs, The Domino’s Transformation Experience, a three day leadership experience at Domino’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a $2,000 grant to bring their idea to life.
Paige’s passion reflected her goal; Transform how her fellow students experienced nutrition in school lunch, especially those students who might have fewer food resources at home. The idea, Simply Samples, allowed students to try small sample sized fruits and vegetables in the lunch line each day. This concept allowed kids to taste different foods they might not have tried before and helped them to find new favorites in a very simple way.
During her trip to Michigan, she had the opportunity to meet with multiple members of the Domino’s leadership team, including Domino’s CEO J. Patrick Doyle, to share her innovative idea. Paige and the other students attending the event also had the opportunity to tour the Domino’s world headquarters and make their favorite pizza in the Domino’s test kitchen. The three-day trip culminated with a formal grant pitch to the Domino’s and AdCap leadership team, which won her $2,000 to take back to her school to see her idea come to life.
“Each day we practiced pitching our ideas to different members of the Domino’s leadership team.” said Paige. “So, by the last day I was very comfortable pitching Simply Samples to the panel, but it was a little stressful!”
From Mrs. Letter’s perspective, the whole experience has been amazing for Paige and the school, “Paige is really shining, making a difference in our community and her confidence is palpable.”
Paige has used the experiences from the trip to work with her fellow students, teachers, principal and cafeteria staff to implement Simply Samples. Each week the school features different match-ups, for example kiwi vs dragon-fruit, and the winners are announced via cartoons on the video announcements. Paige hopes to extend the program to the elementary students on campus and has a meeting scheduled with their principal to discuss possible expansion of the program.
According to Paige, “the best part of the experience has been the feeling of empowerment I have to know that I can make a difference in my school and community.”