• There’s Gold in Hayward

    You just never know where an idea is going to go. 

    Hayward High School students, Sharlyn McClendon and Samantha Faxon had their lives change after a discussion in EAROP Marketing Instructor Rick Charles’ class.  “We saw how much teen unemployment had risen, and saw the serious need for school fundraising and, when combined with the poor state of the local economy, we decided to combine all of the problems and create a solution.” 

    Their inspiration led them to create the Hayward Gold Card.  The Gold Card offers discounts to a number of Hayward area businesses.  Samantha and Sharlyn hope their card will encourage spending by residents, keep small businesses afloat, fundraise, and even give unemployed teens some part-time work.  “Our business has already made a difference--we helped the Hayward High School baseball team fundraise, helped some band students raise money for their trip to Disneyland, and bought a coffee farm for a family in Uganda.” To date, the Hayward Gold Card has generated over $18,000 in sales.

    Eden Area ROP teacher, Rick Charles is overjoyed by his students’ success.  “I am very proud of the girls and all of the hard work that they put into this project.  Hundreds of hours of blood, sweat, and tears were invested to turn this idea into an actual business with unlimited potential for growth.” 

    The Hayward Gold Card made Samantha and Sharlyn NFTE champions and took them all the way to the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York, where they finished in the top twelve in the country.  Samantha Faxon has graduated and is now a freshman at UC Berkeley.  Sharlyn McClendon is a senior and will continue to run Hayward’s Gold Card.  

    Gold Card