Inspired by the idea that everyone can make a difference, Josh King set his sights on his biggest endeavor yet . . . he’s only nine after all. Last year, Josh was moved ahead a grade, which meant he’d miss out on a few third grade projects at St. Mary Elementary School. At that level, the students develop a business plan for a specific project. This is part of the curriculum, and one day Josh went to his mother, Lynn, saying, “There are three things that I missed since I skipped third grade: writing a business plan, participating in the sale for fundraising, and dissecting owl pellets.” While the latter isn’t as pertinent to this story as the first two, it is worth mentioning.
Ann Morrow, a teacher at St. Mary, suggested that Josh think about a plan over the summer. The summer of 2012 kept Josh busy with many activities, but one of his favorites was Lego Camp at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. This was a week-long camp geared toward students who are interested in science, math, and technology. Josh mentions, “And robotics too! We would have challenges with the robots we built. The LEGO mindstorms would be built, and we would program them in the computer to do different things. The goal was to make the robot do exactly what you program it to do. If not, then we’d have to go back to the beginning and reprogram. It was such a great time; I thought we should start a Robotics & Engineering Club at school.”
With the support of his mother, Josh proceeded to draft his business plan during the summer. Raising money would be an integral part of the success of this young man’s mission. There were a list of local and national businesses to approach, but the very first place had to be Paducah Bank. Susan Guess, Paducah Bank Marketing Director, was just the person to talk to. Without hesitation, she donated the official Paducah Bank ice cream truck and 1,000 ice cream treats.
This was the first attempt made by Josh and his partners, and they raised over $1,000. What makes the story even sweeter is the fact that a portion of that money was also donated to Lourdes Hospice Care. When Josh’s mom suggested he should focus on one thing, he quickly said, “It’s my plan and I’m going to raise money for both.”
“He’s a very driven boy,” says Lynn King.
As part of any good business plan, you have to ensure that you have trustworthy partners in your endeavors. Josh aptly appointed his seven-year-old brother Nathan as the chief financial officer and Matthew, five, as vice president of marketing. When asked who
the president would be, Josh hesitated as he pondered . . . “ME.” With a readiness to take on any challenge, Josh embraced this mission with a whole heart. He is driven. He is ready for the future. And he sees this idea spreading across the region. Remember, he’s only nine! And while he’s dedicated to his professional endeavors, he also enjoys cross-country, soccer, basketball, scouts, and occasionally dissecting owl pellets.