Driven by a Dream

Junior Achievement volunteer Joshua Sheats was attempting to teach the Palm Beach Gardens High School global business class how to construct a business plan, but the students weren't engaged.

Understanding how to help the young people connect classroom learning with real life, Joshua turned to student Andrew Fontaine and asked him, "What is your dream car?" With renewed energy and enthusiasm, the young man replied, "A Shelby Cobra Mustang, blue with white racing stripes." Joshua now had Andrew's full attention.

Joshua worked backward from Andrew's goal of owning a Shelby Cobra Mustang, showing him what he would need to do, starting then, to achieve his dream: study for the Standard Achievement Test (SAT), get great scores, qualify for scholarships, and work to get a full-ride deal. Andrew was inspired. He left class, purchased an SAT preparation book and spent his summer studying. In the end, because of his outstanding SAT scores and grades, Andrew was awarded two full-ride scholarships, one to University of Central Florida and the other to University of Alabama.

In a letter to Joshua, Andrew wrote, "I never imagined nor desired to end up at college. It was your stories about struggling with what you wanted to be and figuring it out that made me want to be someone and go to college."

In a few years, Andrew, empowered to own his economic success by Joshua and JA programs, will graduate from college debt-free. Following graduation, using a planning model similar to the one Joshua introduced in his global business class, Andrew plans to start a small business, and, one day, drive his dream Shelby Cobra Mustang.

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