Last month I spent three days with 48 high school students at Newark Rotary's Camp Enterprise. At the end of the third day, they are told that they may choose to enter the essay contest on the Free Enterprise System. The winning essay will receive a cash prize of $500.
I read through the essays today and were quite pleased with most of them. One stuck out, at least to me, because of the student's understanding of the Free Enterprise System.
So as we celebrate our country's freedom this weekend, I thought I would share two excerpts from this essay to help remind us of one type of freedom we sometimes take for granted:
" There are many benefits to the free enterprise system. I feel that the free enterprise system is very important to our country, not only for the individuals but also for the country as a whole. The system gives individuals incentive to start their own independent businesses and do what they like with them. Perhaps they would like to keep their business local and small. Perhaps they wish to have them grow and expand all over the world.
The free enterprise system allows an entrepreneur to pursue different interests if they arise. Many outstanding leaders once owned or operated businesses and chose to use their skills in a different way by pursing governing, philanthropic, and other kinds of leadership positions. Overall, the free enterprise system produces extremely effective, high character citizens with a variety of skills."
It's too bad this Free Enterprise course isn't taught at our high schools. It should be. Think how creative and productive our future leaders could be if they are taught, at an early age, how rewarding operating a business can be.