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WEA Trust Grant Supports Lake Holcombe Entrepreneurship

Lake Holcombe Teachers Win $3,000 Award for Online Store Initiative

HOLCOMBE, Wisconsin – As part of the 4th Annual Forward Together Award, WEA Trust awarded Thea Hempel and Andy Lorenzen of the Lake Holcombe School District a $3,000 grant for an online store where students can sell items that they make in their various technical education classes. This project will be a part of an Entrepreneurship course and in turn promote the school’s STEM program.

“Given the rural location, students are offered little opportunity or exposure to entrepreneurial businesses beyond tourism, hospitality and agricultural.” Forward Together Award winners Hempel and Lorenzen wrote in their proposal. “A course would be offered that teaches students not only hands-on skills related to woodworking, tool use and construction to create tangible products, but also how to bring them to market in an online format while learning marketing, pricing and logistics.”

Hempel and Lorenzen will use the $3,000 Forward Together Award to purchase the website hosting and shipping, marketing and consumable materials. With these new materials, students will create products to be sold in the school store, which will make the program self-sustaining.

WEA Trust created the Forward Together Award to recognize and reward innovation in Wisconsin’s schools. Over the past four years, WEA Trust has granted more than $35,000 to support individual educators’ school projects. This January, WEA Trust received over 100 project proposals. Educators from Lake Geneva Schools and Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan School District also won Forward Together Awards this year.

“We were so impressed by the vision, passion and drive of this year’s winners,” said Jon Klett, WEA Trust’s Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Development. “Every year I look forward to reading all of the proposals. I’m thrilled that we can back a grant program that supports teachers’ love of teaching.”

The project proposals were reviewed by a panel of judges made up of a past Forward Together Award winner, the State Superintendent’s office and Wisconsin Association of Schools Boards.

The WEA Trust provides group health insurance and administrative services to public employers throughout Wisconsin. The not-for-profit WEA Trust was created in 1970 to serve Wisconsin school district employees. Today, the WEA Trust offers its top-rated service and quality benefits to all state, county, and municipal groups.