Instructor teaches business, life skills at Wando
Coming from a family of business owners, Misty Rohaly said she was exposed to the benefits of entrepreneurship long before she found herself teaching it at Wando High School.
At first, Rohaly expected that she would step into her family's business managing an insurance agency. Instead, college taught her she had no interest in insurance, she said, so she explored other options.
Despite her change in plans, she held on to her business knowledge, believing it to be something everyone can gain from.
"No matter what you study in college, you can't hurt from having a business background. For example, you may go to school to become a dentist, and they'll train you to do that, but nobody thinks to teach you how to run the actual business," Rohaly said.
"I think parents realize that, so many of them encourage their kids to take advantage of business courses like this early on."
YEScarolina founder James Bailey describes entrepreneurship as "a combination of life skills."
This is fitting considering Rohaly's experience reflects one of the skills she said is needed to be successful in the business world: the ability to adapt.
A senior in Rohaly's entrepreneurship course, Hunter Smith, 18, said he's learned to value a similar skill.
"Entrepreneurship teaches you to look at your mistakes more along the positive side. No matter what happens, you learn and make changes so things will get better," Hunter said.
He said he's using the skills he's learning in Rohaly's class to manage a Christian skateboard company called Urban Asphalt Skatewear alongside his father.
"I know I've made a lot of mistakes myself. When we started with our first shop, it didn't do so well, but I learned that we should have focused more on distribution instead of trying to open up a shop that a whole lot of people didn't know about yet," Hunter said.
Rohaly gained many of the tools she uses in her classroom through YEScarolina, having received entrepreneurship training through the organization in the past.
"That training gave me so many tools to use in my class. YEScarolina sends me guest speakers, we had an essay contest and they gave incentives to the winners, and they've given me all types of hands-on activities to use. They've really made my job super easy," Rohaly said.
Rohaly said Bailey even went so far as to provide her class with textbooks in the past.
Bailey said he will do all that he can to help local teachers such as Rohaly, who are affecting the lives of young entrepreneurs, by investing in updated textbooks, citing cutbacks as hindering many schools from being able to afford them.
"How do you teach any subject matter if you don't have textbooks? How do students learn if they don't have the right materials," Bailey said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908.