How Achieveit360 Gave Back With the 2017 American Small Business Championship Awards
When AchieveIT360.com was awarded the 2017 American Small Business Award through the Score Foundation and Sam’s Club, a part of this prize was a $1,000 gift card that could be used at Sam’s Club or Walmart stores. Achieveit360 had been thinking of ways they would use a cash prize for some time, so when this contest came along, we knew that we wanted to start a give-back tradition to schools and organizations using our programs, or exemplary students who showed promise to assist them with their educational pursuits. We were thrilled to be chosen as the Arizona Small Business Award Champion, as reality of this contest began to set in.
When we returned from Dallas, Texas with our gift card, it was time to begin our research to find out how many laptops we could purchase for our schools and exemplary students. We quickly found out from calling our local Sam’s Club and speaking with the technology expert, Harper, the laptop with the most value. We were able to purchase 3 HP LED 14 Inch Stream Notebooks with one year of Microsoft Office included. We knew that this technology tool could help take our school sites to the next level, as well as offer an exemplary student a tool that would provide them more opportunity for advance in the direction of their goals and dreams. We selected our Achieveit360 prize winners based on need as well as how this tool would impact their school, their students and the community.
Here are our Achieveit360 prize winners:
- Victory High School, Arizona: We have been working closely with Victory High School staff and students for the past three years. We first met Dr. Branham, the school’s principal when we first partnered with AZ Department of Education, Character Education Grant and were looking for schools who wanted to add our programs to their curriculum. Last year, Victory High School applied to use our programs through the Arizona Department of Education Matching Grant funds, a competitive grant, but were not awarded the funding due to the large number of vendors going for a limited amount of funding. Victory has applied again this year, and we await the results with a positive mindset that we can work closely with this site this year, knowing that we were selected as one of four vendors to continue to work with Arizona schools. Achieveit360 knew this site needed their programs and support, so we provided a class set of Level Up books for them and volunteered in the classroom to help the students learn some additional strategies for success in their classroom. Students and staff received some notebooks and incentives purchased from Walmart along with a lesson to prepare them for their summer so they could use their time wisely. We were invited to speak at their year-end graduation to provide this year’s graduating students with words of wisdom, and we look forward to our continued partnership with these incredible students and educators.
Ohio Family and Youth Initiatives are a new user of our programs. They offer programs to students including peer to peer mentoring to help students make healthy choices. Achieveit360 sent Director, Teen Leadership Programs, Julie Driskill, a laptop to be used in their front office for students who need to complete their test preparation practice. We look forward to working closely with Julie’s teachers, and helping them implement our programs into their infrastructure.
3. AAEC South Mountain Campus: Exemplary Character Award for a Graduating Student. Thanks to The ASBC Awards, Score Foundation and Sam’s Club, Achieveit360 was able to return to a site where our program began three years ago and present a graduating student who worked hard and rose above with rest with a laptop and school supplies to further her studies. This student is going on to College and now has a laptop, and some school supplies to help further her studies.
10 Ways The $1,000 Gift Card Impacted Our Business
- Giver’s Gain: We have listed three ways we were able to give back to our current users and the rewards of giving back were far more than we could have imagined. To be able to offer something back to those who work hard to implement our services was a feeling we will never forget.
- Credibility: When we applied to be listed as Preferred Providers for Character Education, we were chosen to remain on the provider list from 2018-2020. Being chosen as a 2017 ASBC Award Winner was added to our application as one of our most recent wins, and helped to showcase our credibility as a National Award Winner.
- Momentum: It began with the contest, and continued as we pursue the Grand Prize, but being present on social media has really helped with our momentum. There is not one friend, contact, colleague or customer who is not aware of our work, mission, purpose and vision.
- Internal Motivation: Small Business is challenging enough as it is, but many find the struggles, obstacles and ups and downs overwhelming. Achieveit360 has strategies in place to keep our mental mindset is order, but being named the 2017 Small Business Champion for the Score Foundation and Sam’s Club infused some additional motivation to help us take everything to the next level. We relentlessly signed up for all of Score Foundation’s Mentoring Sessions and pushed harder than ever to make inroads with our business Nationally, as well as Internationally.
- PR and Marketing Opportunities: We have been reaching out locally for media opportunities, and know that our award is causing interest in our programs and services. We know that our programs are making an impact and know that we are ready for the next step to promote our services at a larger scale.
- Improving Business Strategies: Creating a strong business plan and five year vision is a part of taking your business to that next level. Everyone wants to know “where do you see yourself in five years” so being clear on this vision is a part of the process.
- Adding an Element of Fun: Receiving a gift card to spend however you want was an exciting experience. We brainstormed the ways these funds could help us the most, and starting a Giving Back Program was chosen for Achieveit360’s gift card. Andrea Samadi, founder, noted that she felt like Santa gathering items to help her valued customers and students. This experience is something she will always remember and we are forever grateful for this opportunity.
- Perfecting Our Company Vision: If you can see how $1,000 can impact your business, how would the Grand Prize of $25,000 assist you? The value of winning the Score Foundation’s ASBC Awards was being paired with a business mentor to help with our financial vision. Achieveit360 has been working with a team of mentors who are helping us with our 90 day plan. This vision must include where we will take items off our plate with the new funds that come in.
- Product Development: As our programs and services expand to reach more students and teachers, we are continually adding new material to our current programs. With new funding, we can continue to improve our programs to offer the most current research, strategies and tactics for student achievement.
- International Vision: Our contest win allowed us to reach back out to school districts we have connections with Internationally. Founder Andrea Samadi has remained in contact with York Region District School Board and we contacted them to let them know of our contest win. Shortly after this, we were invited to present at their 2017 Quest Well-Being Conference in November, all expenses paid. We are thrilled for the opportunity to return to Toronto, where founder Andrea Samadi began her teaching career.