While the school store may seem like a mundane aspect of high school life for many students, one Carlisle senior plans to turn it into a career.
In addition to her rigorous academic schedule and volunteer work, Sarah “Genia” Purdy is one of a group of Carlisle High School seniors who runs Bison Corner, the high school student store.
Next year, Purdy will be going to Ohio State University to study business and marketing, with the intention of working for a fashion company and eventually opening her own boutique.
“I really enjoy what I’m doing now and it would be great to do it on a larger scale and take it to the next level,” Purdy said.
Bison Corner isn’t just pens and pencils, either, and Purdy and her associates don’t just staff the cash register.
The store has added more apparel with considerable success, and the students are responsible for deciding what to stock, Purdy said.
“We get a lot of freedom to make mistakes and see what works,” Purdy said. “You have to anticipate the trends and figure out what people will be into. We try to model it after what we think people will like rather than what we personally like.”
This also involves doing design work and communicating with clothing suppliers.
“Once we meet with our supplier we tell them exactly what we want and they send us back a sketch of the final product,” Purdy said.
Once she gets some experience with a major apparel manufacturer, Purdy wants to branch out on her own to take on some type of social entrepreneurship, where her business can give back to others.
“Not so much focused on expanding my business, but something that could focus on helping other people,” Purdy said.
She is also a cheerleader, with the Carlisle High School competition cheerleading team advancing to the state level all three years that Purdy was on the squad and most recently taking fourth place at the district level.
Purdy also volunteers within the school system, going to Bellaire Elementary after high school classes let out to tutor third- and fourth-grade students.
“That’s actually one of my favorite parts of my high school time,” Purdy said. “I would go there for the last 30 minutes of their day and help them with whatever they needed.”
She’s also part of the high school’s Best Buddies Club, which pairs participants with a disabled student whom they can help navigate the school day.
“I like making those relationships,” Purdy said. “When you see them in the hallway, you can tell how much happier they are that they have a friendly face who can say ‘hi.’”
Email Zack at email@example.com.
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