By RONDA GREGORY
News & Journal Staff Writer
Senior students at Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg are learning about business and how business success can give them more choices as adults to “pay it forward”.
Through a new program for 2015 -”Business Gives Back” -seniors hear from successful business owners via a series of presentations about their own entrepreneurial journey and experiences and how that success has enabled them to help others.
The presenters will help expose the students to entrepreneurship in the community, how and why businesses give back to their communities, churches and schools, and encourage the students to serve now and after they graduate, program organizers said.
Ian McAra, director of advancement for the school, said they chose presenters “who were already invested in the school in some way” – either financially, relationally or both.
“All are either alumni of the school or are parents of our students,” he said. “Or there are those who have made financial donations to support the school.”
McAra said their first presenter, Tony Abruzzino of Abruzzino Financial Services, did a great job January 16 talking to the seniors.
“It went really well,” he said. “He had a great message for the students that was absolutely perfect.”
McAra elaborated that Abruzzino explained to the students “how owning his own business gave him the freedom to manage his schedule.”
This ability allowed him the flexibility to come and go as others needed him.
“It gave him the freedom of choice to help at the school, at church,” McAra said, “and to be available as a father and as a husband.”
Obviously, being a successful business owner also affords people the opportunity to give financially as well.
Other business leaders who will be participating as presenters are: Roger Lehosit of MCM Business Systems, Sam Madia of Shaffer Madia Law, John Ebert of McDonald’s, Larry Mazza of MVB Bank and Dr. Dominick Woofter of Woofter Family Medicine.
McAra said he is confident that the seniors will both learn from all the presenters and also be inspired by them that they –the students — can and will make a positive difference for Notre Dame High School, their churches and their communities.
“By the students learning about people who are giving back, hopefully, one day, they can do the same thing,” he added.
Patty Dupont, the school’s senior religion instructor who teaches “Living a Christian Lifestyle”, helped coordinate the event. McAra said she was the right teacher to help with the business speakers series.
“Our ‘Business Gives Back’ program fits our Christian mission of helping others perfectly,” McAra said.